An empty sadness, dead space

A hole in the heart

Magic and life scraped off with trowels


A cold wind blowing across trampled ground

Water-logged mud, poisoned stumps, not yielding;

I huddle deeper into my coat


Grey granite gravel like a shroud

Around dank stones, a rotten tooth,

Witnesses to old wrongs


To think that not so long ago

This was a green place of wasps getting drunk on ivy flowers

Where striped spiders were hunted by wrens


Of blackbirds mick-micking, bats flickering

at dusk, and the small scratchings of mice

Whilst tendrils of growth wrestled it back to the earth


How long will it take to gather up the courage

To start again, disperse this bitterness

into a vibrant fecund wilderness?


Michael van Beinum

The Temple: Diary

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