‘Seven Hundred Years of Grief Ago’ was inspired by the horseshoe that hangs from the door of Kempsford Church. The shoe is said to have been lost as Henry of Monmouth fled Kempsford following the death of his son.
‘Under New Management’ focuses on the refurbishment of the village pub, but both poems explore loss and the passage of time. History, myth, and a strong sense of place are all hallmarks of Iris’s work. She is a member of Poetry Swindon and the New Bohemians in Cheltenham and her poetry films have been shown internationally and in the UK.
Iris is also a founder member of Cirencester-based Somewhere Else Writers, who meet in the upstairs room of the town’s Somewhere Else Deli each week to share work and ideas.
To discover more about Iris’s work and Somewhere Else Writers, go to: www. somewhere-else-writers.org
Seven Hundred Years of Grief Ago
Water receives a son. An heir is drowned,
lies in Kempsford’s marshy ground.
The House of Lancaster bereaved.
A grief-spurred gallop, a horse shoe lost,
retrieved and nailed upon the stout church door.
It still hangs there, a hoof-shaped heart
framed by a Norman arch.
A good luck symbol charged with sorrow.
Grief pulses in this old stone porch
Yesterday, today, tomorrow.
Iris Anne Lewis
Under new management
Moored like ships beneath the sign
the skips are full of cargo.
Battered tables, broken chairs thrown
higgledy-piggledy in the hold,
jostling with threadbare cushions and
beer-stained carpets loosely rolled.
Only the sign remains.
Twelve painted bells, solid black on white,
sway gently in the breeze, while in the distance
church bells chime, twelve notes rippling
across the Cotswold town.
A new sign, fresh painted, hangs there now.
Bluebells, dainty, nodding, on a buttermilk board.
A patch of springtime meadow suspended
above the tarmacked road.
But winter comes, and with it, fog and frost.
Across the rooftops church bells toll.
A chill wind blows, the pub sign rocks
and creaking, keens for something lost.
Iris Anne Lewis
Click this link to see more work by Somewhere Else Writers. https://somewhere-else-writers.org/story-and-poem-archive-2018-19/