Rook Lane Blog

by John Payne (inspired by Tom Lomax’s Week of Angels exhibition at Rook Lane in November 2011)

The Angel of the First Poem of 2011

Preface
The Angel of the First Poem of 2011, also known as the Angel of the Chariot of Fire, was not a happy angel.
Any mission to Planet Earth was risky.
He knew that.
He had prepared himself.
He had visited the heavenly library, recently saved by the Heavenly Father’s intervention against the demands of the Archangelic Divine Resource Reduction Committee.
He had read The Magus and now knew by heart the Considerations of Thursday at the West
He murmured them to himself as he mounted his chariot:
‘I beseech thee, most heavenly father, that this day I may perfectly understand and accomplish my petition, work and labour’.
‘The perfume of Thursday is saffron’, he whispered.

1.
A gilded angel sloshing through the mud
Sniffing nervously the air before him –
Saffron? Betrayal?
The future holds little of attraction
The wings stretched out behind him, half-folded,
Seem to the follower, the acolyte,
Hands of enormous, infinite pity.

2.
Surely the angel has chosen the wrong technology,
Wheels that stick and slither and hold. Why does he not fly?
What is preventing him? He does not want to be here
It feels wrong – this rubbish tip of the spiral galaxy

Our weight, my weight, holding him back,
Tarnishing his golden head and wings.

3.
Said the angel to the Man
‘Will you kindly give me a push?’
Said the Man to the angel
‘Get off and push it yourself, you
Fancy little wimp.’

The angel was not amused
Shook his wings in righteous anger.

4.
But somewhere, distant, very distant
He scents the spring, a crocus perhaps
Or maybe he’s just screwing up his
Nose in wrathful heavenly disgust.

A gilded angel sloshing through the mud
Sniffing nervously the air before him –
Saffron? Salvation?

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