Duncan McGibbon, Poet

Today is never yesterday...

Alphege’s Men Build the Organ


And now we take the wind

from the tracts of heaths,

from the snow-scudding blizzard

on the Welsh mountains.

And now we take the iron

that hangs in stone and burn it

to fiery liquid and hammer

its strength to harden

a wood’s metal tones of praise.

More men than built this place

have come to frame

Alphege’s music-maker.

Its crack can be heard

from a mile away

and only an army of God

can bring it into life.

And now the people

who had no courage

will fight the organ with

voices of new holiness.

And now we take the wind,

for God is great. The thunder

of our faith is great.

The bull of Matthew and Ezekiel

bellows His greater music-making

through the shaking stones,

the clamour of the universe

and in the unseen world

its raucous, sacred uproar .

Carmen 4.7

Full snows have melted.

Leaves shoot on the boughs of trees

and in the fields the grass greens again,

as the river’s height reduces to its bed.

The status of the earth is changed.

The girls are confident and free,

as naked as the mythic, woodland

statues in the park.

Melt comes after ice, and springtime

comes soon afterwards,

and then summertime becomes

the past and autumn

once more scatters apples on the grass

only to change again as winter

stills the land. Whatever the skies have made

to suit the seasons; wolf’s moon

after hunter’s moon

follows with moonlight

to where the dead lie,

whom once we praised or knew.

Death’s day comes, whatever patter

contradicts, So let us celebrate

your human heart, as to what it feels,

no legacy can lay a claim

for we are dust and shadows.

Your family tree, your eloquence,

your justness will not befriend you,

once you’re done with living .

They are in the night, the lovers now,

despite their innocence, 

for love alone cannot compete

with time and fate still

regulates the friendships comrades

owe despite the passions of past great men.





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