“Scrap Church” by Stephen Kingsnorth

Orcadian surplus, cement slab,
with barbed wire set for tensile strength,
wafer, wine for inner power,
like cutting fence, buried inside.

Staple fare, without the gun,
two Nissen huts to build from scratch,
from scrap, Italianate church.

Agnus Dei, Lamb Holm,
at the edge of the world,
from Cyrene’s Africa,
desert to winter Scapa Flow;
axis prisoners make the church,
day of Pentecost again,
different tongues, yet understand.

Car exhaust becomes the font,
light-holders and corned beef tins
with spare concrete, altar rails,
steps to alter, changing lives.

Christ in common when at mass,
barrier now is false façade,
but is the host, priest, a friend
or is Camp Sixty alien men?

This, their icon, still to show
someone inside could be set free;
after war, demolition team,
refused take this hope-sign down.

 

 

Stephen Kingsnorth, (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from ministry in the Methodist Church, has had pieces accepted by a dozen on-line poetry sites, including Sparks of Calliope, Gold Dust, The Seventh Quarry, The Dawntreader, and Foxtrot Uniform. You can find more of his poetry at https://poetrykingsnorth.wordpress.com/.

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