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Stephen Boyce: a poem

Churchyard at Stour Provost

I'm thinking of the way the spirit is set loose

on the dying breath,

here where everything looks back at you without judgement,

the deep plush of grass,

cut flowers at a graveside, the grey stone tower,

even the gilded clock still stuck at five to six.

And that odd suspense of violet in the air

above the lime trees,

the low avenue of pollarded trunks that leads

from lychgate to porch,

their stilled leaves backlit in new-minted silver,

it places you in my heart, though I'm close to home now.

It's as if I've crossed a last blue sea and am lying

in an orchard of quince trees

or in the loose embrace of the fading world,

lying at the lip

of the universe as it opens in uncontainable song.

Already something cherished has been exchanged.

Stephen Boyce lives in north Dorset. He is the author of three poetry collections, Desire Lines (Arrowhead 2010), The Sisyphus Dog (Worple 2014) and The Blue Tree (Indigo Dreams 2019), and of three poetry pamphlets. Stephen is co-founder of Winchester Poetry Festival. You can find him here:

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