Restoring Cally Temple

Every lapsing ledge of this ruined folly has been colonized by something.

Herb Robert flourishes on a sandstone staircase of slabs gripped in a wall.

Like the caged motorway embankment, nature encroaches where people

don't go. Here are all the offspring of the wood: sycamore winning battles

between tall and tumbling, honeysuckle the tussles between sprawling

and straight. If the temple must be mended, let the wilderness shift

to the poet's heart, let sonnets free severed ivy to wriggle up crumbling

walls like escaping snakes and perfect villanelles reflect the raindrops

catch the sunlight, hold the skeleton leaves and snow.

Clare Phillips


The Temple: Diary

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