Sunday, 18 May 2014

Lines on the Anniversary of the Death of John Betjeman (1984)

The corbelled roof of St Petroc
No longer echoes to prog rock
The trendy 80s priests retire
And go to live in some dull Shire
Where in a "House for Duty" post
They'll have 10 churches at the most.

The ocean waves crash on the strand
Like the drummer in that worship band
Who groaned when playing Kendrick, G
And oft-times claimed that rather he
Would play in the hall of the Crimson King
Than have another Taize to sing.

Among the upper class, the shock!
The vicar has to calm his flock
Turns out that Miss Joan Hunter Dunn
has come out as a lesbian.
Poor Johnny's mind is in a whirl
Who knew Joan would fall for a girl?

Her marriage, since by Church turned down,
Is at the posh hotel in town.
Joan H.D. there shall plight her troth,
Not to some dim, ale-drinking oaf
But to the Tennis Girl so strong
Whom she's been after all along.

And so the Eighties, brash and new
which Betjeman thought sent askew
his world of churches, steam and lust
for sporty girls, have turned to dust.
St Petroc Church, remote and small,
Stands, changeless, in amongst it all.

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