Thursday, May 03, 2012

Thursday extracts: R I P

RIP
A girl in our village makes love in the churchyard.
She doesn't care who, but it must be the churchyard.
They say she prefers the old part to the new -
Green granite chippings maybe rankle, warm slabs welcome.
And after, in her bedroom, she sees the mirror's view
Of her shoulder, embossed "In Loving Memory".
Anne, why did you do it? You've eight O-Levels.
Why not Anne? If bones remember, you'll give them joy.
It's as good a place as any, close by Nave,
Rood Screen, Chapel of Ease, Peal of the Bells,
Bob Singles and Grand Sire Doubles.
And, when you half-close your eyes,
The horned gargoyles choose.
But it had to happen.
Oh Anne, tonight you were levelled.
William James, late of this parish, was cold beneath you
And his great-grandson warm above, and you rose,
Although your shoulder didn't know it,
In glorious expectation of the Life to Come.
 
Alan Garner
 
 
*********
 
I first heard this poem at a live show in the Theatre in the Round in Scarborough. Back in the days when it was still above the library. Two very funny guys called Henry Livings and Alex Glasgow performed songs and recitations, while drinking a fair amount of beer (and spilling quite a lot at appropriate points in the evening). It was a wonderful evening, full of laughter and fun, and I was sat next to my dad. (If you want to know the full significance of that see here. ) I've been looking for a copy of this for some time, but finally tracked it down, thanks to the marvels of the Interweb.
 
It still makes me laugh. And I can still remember my mother's disapproving face because I laughed at the time!

4 comments:

Sandra Davies said...

TOTALLY new to me - was Alan Garner a Sci-Fi writer or am I confused? - and delightful, thanks for bringng it to my notice.

MorningAJ said...

Alan Garner was the guy from Alderley Edge who wrote stuff like the Owl Service, The Wierdstone of Brisingamen, The Moon of Gomrath and Elidor etc.

Dawn Malone said...

That my mother would have been giving disapproving glances during the show would have made me laugh harder. Delightful piece - thanks for sharing!

snafu said...

It is nice to be able to find something from your past you have lost, particularly when it has fond memories associated with it.
I recall hearinfg that once. It is hard to read out properly, so some skill is needed by the reader to give it its full impact and humor.