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The Abbey Fish-Pond: Glastonbury

The Abbey Fish-Pond: Glastonbury


I’d love to think the roach, rudd and carp

Were descended by blood from fish

Who never made it to the abbot’s kitchen

Before he was hung, drawn and quartered

On the Tor – that they escaped a scaling,

And their hatchlings survived in turgid,

Half-forgotten waters, silently hoovering

Up detritus with rubbery mouths,

Surveying centuries from their subaqueous

Perspective, with unblinking eyes.

Perhaps someone fed them heads,

As retribution, in the reign of Mary,

As the lead was pilfered from the abbey

Roof, and the floors of the dormitory

Ripped up for making stables. Centuries

Slid by like silvered carapaces of Dityscus.

The water-spider tended air once breathed

By Arthur, distilled in a diving-bell,

And the patient, meticulous Caddis

Structured his house out of twigs

That bore leaves in Cromwell’s time.

I’d love to think that roach, rudd and carp

Were more reliable than men.


Poem by Giles Watson, 2012.


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Taken on August 30, 2012