At the end of another Can Openers in Bristol Central Library, a group of poets sloped off to the tea room in the neighbouring Cathedral and supped in the sunny cemetery garden. After a while, the conversation turned to Christianity and Richard Dawkins and so on. I didn't join in much. It seemed strange that some of them were atheists when, to me, poetry is a sacred thing, inherently bound up with the literal tying together that is religion. How else are we supposed to make sense of love and the human condition than to conclude that there is more to life than we can possibly know on this side of it?
Every now and then people wandered off around the graves. Summer flowers had been allowed to swamp them with colour and life. One poet observed that the stone at the foot of one should be marked exit rather than entrance.
The grave nearest the Chapter House was covered in wild strawberries and the fruit tasted sweet.
As everyone left, I popped into the Chapter House. It is one of my very favourite spaces in the world and if I'm fated to haunt anywhere, I hope it's here. Sublime glass and sumptuous honey-coloured stone, quilted by Norman masons, and the whole infused with an atmosphere of warmth and love. Very different from the considerably more austere Cathedral.
Then home to my younger boy and my dog - two of the creatures that make this small life worth living.
- Deborah Harvey Poetry
- Bristol , United Kingdom
- I am co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.