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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Sunday, March 13, 2005
    Grief and patience
    Tonight, folding away the newspaper in grim anticipation of the next two month's dull electioneering, and feeling diminished as yet another church 'ideas' meeting yields very little energy, I'm grateful for this poem from the excellently-conceived Without Day, a very lively book of people's proposals for a new Scottish parliament, published to pre-empt its opening in 2000. This is extract from Scottish Aeon by David Greenslade:

    Qualification for standing for election for a seat in the New Scottish Parliament.

    Grief and patience.

    Having waited and endured
    the best men and women
    sail from Scottish harbours
    hacking their way into remote blood.

    Grief and patience.

    Parliament will sit only on those days,
    at those times
    when the ghost of a teenage girl
    drowned within sight
    of the rocks of Nova Scotia

    Brushes the building with her shawl;

    The rest of the time Parliament
    will be gone again, back under, dispersed
    into the working hands of farms and warehouses,
    shops and factories, streets and desks
    of the Scottish people.

    Grief and patience.