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smallstepsmadpotepotriemantheartfulcodgerscogterransvoice
On a winter's Saturday night



The churchyard is different in the dark,
the day time friendly whispering trees
now rearing giant shapes muttering
and chuntering in the night breeze.
The well known tombstones,
regularly lined around,
now seem like teeth
rearing from the ground,
as I make my way quickly,
trying to conceal my fright,
along the path
and through the night.
To lift the stoke hole hatch,
to reveal the concrete stair
leading to the big old furnace
waiting at the bottom there.
Using the shovel blade
I open the black hot door
to shovel the coke quickly
into the small glowing red maw
to heat the church for Sunday
so all are warm sitting there,
after starting their day
with hymns of praise and prayer.
I lift the hatch,
back into the night
eyes still adjusting
from the stoke hole's dim light.
Shapes and sounds assault;
a night owl hoots; walk don't run
back home to our cottage
after a job reluctantly done.
Tomorrow
comes the dawn when
the towering dark shapes
are transformed once again
back to my friendly old trees
that all day long whisper and sing
for me in the constant little breeze.
How can those same boughs
that I love to see and hear,
when it's dark night again
cause in me such an awful fear.








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