Gargoyle 7
cover etching (The Odyssey) by B. Lysoy
publication date 9/4/1977

The Sexton's Lament

Paul House

(Written during the London bombings of November 1975)

Corner boys leap to explosions of will
Where ice burns phantom a bouquet of blood.
Dust spun from my lips to the beasted heart
But blasts still surge through the hand’s fingered vein.

Heart’s shadow beats; time is ticking for death.
Flat silence affords no comfort for fear.
Dark tombs are torn from the shreds of the night
And new cenotaphs stand in the burning street.

Echo and heart cease pulsing together:
And for what do they ruin cripple and maim?
They’d have you believe that it’s all down to God
But most of the dead would argue it’s not.

Dust spun from my lips to paralyzed hearts
Impotent beneath fat withered stone wreaths.
Death still leaps violently out of the night
And the wrong eyes are coined to warm shallow earth.