At the Gates

Oh yes, I was beguiled by churchy cliques –
complacent ease with humble privilege,
the arch presumption of black-suited men
and campness cloaking bitter buried truth.
Oh, there was joy in jargon’s jealous claims,
the coded in- and outness of it all,
the huddled boozy late night synod do,
and all the bored and bitchy meanness too.
I knew it then, but couldn’t quite resist –
for glowing through it all the passioned Christ
excused our earthen vessels’ obvious flaw,
his fractured host hard-won redemption’s gift
that shamed our pretty Pilate-patterned pomp.
The coal glows still – it warms me at the gates
as I observe the institution’s fall.
The managers now run the dismal end
with Stalin’s brutish dreary dullard’s hand,
and treacherous screen exposes what we hid.
And so, with wistful leaver’s greedy cling
I watch awhile, and fancy I’m awake.

Rupert Moreton

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