Clare Hornsby

home: poetry


St Augustine’s Abbey, Thanet

Cloud masks the end of England
Sea spray mixed with sky mist
Soaks black flint
Drenched bushes burdened with blossom
Loll over those paths in the
Deserted monastery garden
Cowslips litter the moss walk.

Nature has taken over since
The Order has departed
Fox cubs boldly prance and bicker
Where prayer book murmurings
Of a hundred years
End in the flotsam of abandon.

Leave all that sad disorder five more years
And fairy-tale growth of hedge and shrub
Will mask wet walls and stained floors
Fill damp cells cluttered with the debris
Of an undignified exit:
Plastic saints’ stuff, mildewed bedding
And peeling paint of failure.
The green will triumph
And the foxes grow bolder.

There will be a ruin and
Then it will be beautiful
And you and I will come again
To taste the victory of Nature.


May 2012