The Pew – in memory of John Betjeman

I hope this is the pew where once the poet sat
enjoyed his breakfast of burnt toast
sitting in his morning chair looking out to the graveyard
where his great grandfather is buried
drafting a letter then leaving his acorn
papered eyrie to saunter out of Cloth Fair
in his heavy coat and wide brimmed hat.

I hope this is the pew where once the poet sat
listening to sacred music from the deep throated organ
wafting through ancient pillars up to the ornate ceiling
looking up at the famous altar painting stored in Wales
during the war and now with daylight flickering
on the angel with the chalace in Gethsemane
offering strength and courage to The Son of God

I hope this is the pew where once the poet sat
next to the Wesley window that was not his favourite
near a memorial to someone’s much loved daughter
and not far from the detailed deliberations
of Dame Anne Packington (widow) who in her will
in 1595 tried to devise ways to ensure her estate
would help the poor in perpetuity.

I hope this is the pew where once the poet sat
singing the hymns and half listening to the sermon
as thoughts of the letters he still had to write
and the women that he loved passed through his mind
having time to later wander to his favourite memorial
where it implies that it is not a man’s ornate plaque
but the good deeds he accomplished that count.

In memory of Sir John Betjeman

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The Postman’s Poem

In Praise of Postmen
King Edward Building – 1990  

Sorting, walking                                                                 DSC06603
laden with letters
EC1 to EC4
big ones, small ones
white ones, brown ones
Broadgate, Barbican
local stores.

Peabody flats in EC1
climbing endless
flights of stairs
Hatton Gardens
golden windows
jumping buses
paying fares.

Rest in park
before more sorting
deliveries that
must not fail
everything depends
on postmen
London’s lifeblood
Royal Mail.