St. James at Midday


‘The crude wind off the street
Shakes up the kneelers
Licks out the candles
And turns the prayer sheets over,
Then with a huge sigh, retreats.

A money changer turns to his prayers
Again; ‘God, give my shares a boost’.
A tired beauty tries to recall
Her daughter’s face and, failing, weeps.

A dusty man, small, old and ready,
Relights a candle then steadily,
One by one, the rest. A small creature,
A child, a son, hands them to him, one by one.

Into the eye of the gathering storm
These seeds of fire are thrown once more
And yet once more
One after one are thrown.’

Roy Ashwell

His latest collection of poems,‘Age and After’
may be obtained from Roy Ashwell at
020 8560 0216 or by e-mail at:
Price at £5.00

Graphics by John Piper