In a poem of love there are feathers and fish and roses and butter and slow-burning candles there are tables and chairs and a sky made of rain and curtains to be drawn and sunshine over the horizon
in a poem of love it is summer and winter and beaches and sandals and today and tomorrow and happily ever after and blushes and kisses and words made of silence and naturally we celebrate and swim in the mountains and sweet as a baby and tall as a castle
in a poem of love there is time and again and bells gently ringing and Saturdays and Sundays and moons to be baking and an alphabet of promises and sharp needles for mending
in a poem of love there are paintings and photos and pearls made of wisdom and sonnets for reading and beds for the lying and pleasures for sharing and songs for beginning and streets never ending
Parksville NY, John Lyons (30 x 25 cm, oil on canvas)
The road less travelled
Just after the dawn dust had settled after the larks had risen into the vacant sky I chanced upon this fork in the road a yellow wheat field and in the distance the deep dense green of ancient woodland
and who knows where a road might leads or what awaits us in our day-to-day as we make our way along paths known or unknown how for better or worse a random choice may change a lifeforever
Nothing changes from generation to generation but the thing seen and that makes composition
writing and painting are like that in that what is observed whether internally or externally provides the material necessary to live as an outlaw in defiance of rules and totally open to the unexpected that is why lovers are always ahead of their time because they create something entirely new
a bond composed of myriads of affinities alongside refreshing disparities— love like that is always beginning is never ending is a fount of constant innovation and harmonious consolidation art poetry and love are the natural trinity in which beauty and truth are enshrined
And so to Deptford to St Paul’s where death lies buried in the empty grounds where fresh-blown roses are washed in the dew petals gone in a final gasp to dust
In the broken darkness the birds fly silently from oak to ash to sycamore and strands of light filter through the dying leaves
Here we remember her silken hair her rosy lips the shape of her smile the taste of her kiss her gentleness of voice
What lies here under the earth is love and beauty held on a threshold by the edge of the creek the ash of stardust awaiting resurrection
Here lie the remains of sweet young lovers laid bone to bone in everlasting embrace in the darkness
while all around them the swirl of autumn light the frail dust of day-to-day debris piled high in the gutters and — long forgotten the ghost of silenced voices never to be heard again
St Paul’s in Deptford is a Grade 1 Listed Building designed by the architect Thomas Archer, dating from 1730. It is one of the places of worship built following the 1711 Act for building new churches in London and its suburbs. These are generally known as the Queen Anne churches. The poet, John Betjeman, described St Paul’s as “a pearl at the heart of Deptford”, and it is indeed a remarkable and important example of English Italianate Baroque.
Thomas Archer was specifically influenced by two churches in the Historic Centre of Rome: the interior, by Francesco Borromini’s restyling of S. Agnese in Agone, Piazza Navona using Corinthian pillars, 1653 onwards, and the portico by the semi-circular porch of S. Maria della Pace, (which is just off the Piazza Navona) by Pietro da Cortona, constructed 1656-1661.
A note on Deptford to place St Paul’s in its context: The deep ford which gave Deptford its name crossed the River Ravensbourne at what is now Deptford Bridge. It was on the ancient road from London to Canterbury and Dover, and Deptford is mentioned in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. One part of Deptford grew up here, beside the ford and the later bridge. The other part was the fishing village beside the Thames called Deptford Strand. There were fields between the two settlements until the nineteenth century.
In 1513 Henry VIII founded a dockyard at Deptford to build ships for the Royal Navy. In the eighteenth century a Victualling Yard was established alongside, where ships stores and provisions were assembled. The Dockyard closed in 1869.
After use as a cattle market and in other military and industrial capacities, the area is now being redeveloped for housing. The Victualling Yard remained until 1961. Its site is now occupied by the Pepys Estate. Samuel Pepys often visited the Dockyard when he was Clerk to the Navy Board, and his friend and fellow-diarist John Evelyn lived here, in the manor house called Sayes Court.