Geraldine Monk
Opus Anglicanum
West House Anthology

taunts sewn daily
a cluster
of ad-ages: history history history
will be sore-winged with
selective forgiving

A cast shedding envy
throughout Europe. oui ya sí
we gave them
a-needling to die for
couching ore sprigs
into brand ancient chasubles of awe
so much so they named it after us
         O-Opus Anglicanum
'England is for us surely a garden
of delights — an inexhaustible well' —
so sang Papa Innocent to our choral copes
and mitres.

what beauty we unravelled


With every fibre of spin
Ministers of Misrule
thread-paint moral empires on their
sleeves. pink pink pink
go the shears at the wrists
on the edge of the wood

secular embroidery
what stands still long enough
catches trappings
banners palls purses
underneath and hidden linen
outre vestments
couched bed hangings
misleading cushions
lips lying in wait
you name it
and a pair of shin-new
leg-long buskins found
in a power-tomb in Canterbury
where a cathedral is


a metre of petersham
stiff out a great coat
sham to spare for
fair war



stuckup on thorn hedge
hemmed in
broderie anglaise
pearlies kink the may day
blossom floss
a fly pass is
buzzing her maj
at enormous expense
the sky streaks red white
on blue

Intelligence born in sour light
cramps eyes guiding the gilt ~
a sequence of sequins
is a chain of glitzer
on the slope
going blind for an
        anthem is a song
                               too high
on a hot bright morning in
a strained voice
he sang
across the waters:

'we have not yet found shiny
pointy things we call weapons'

finger their bodkins
weaving empires

upon time

threads get knotted

Dong! The history drowns.