Is frankly disappointed by the gnomes
or apostles as he hears they style themselves
these days of receding gums and shorelines
in their soft-boiled rewrites of his very grain.
He mooches, half-working in the shade,
keeps taking the finished board, the flawed saw
outside, to check them in the light
that turns everything to a species of limestone.
What’s it going to take to persuade these people
that some things are meant to be a parable?
Must he drown upon a watery stroll,
rot upon a self-made cross?
He personally visited them all
after that last glorious rumour,
took Thomas to confirm there were no wounds
till he was blue in the ribs with proof.
And still they’ve spun it their several ways,
all the Jonah-come-latelies on a mission
to convert the light into a few believers
in that which they can only be and not believe.
Nothing spreads like the semblance of a truth.
Presumably Caesar would shut their mouths –
not that any fist puts out that Pentecostal glister
you get from never listening.
A lot of the old zeal has gone out of him these days,
like muscle tone or the falling water table.
He cycles a lot, just round the village,
just to keep in shape, really.
Says less and less, even to Adam
his deliberately illiterate son of a man.
Bloodaxe Books, Northumberland, 2013