Background

Illuminating York Poetry: A Goodly Pattern

Posted on 17 January 2013 | Poem

The patterning of this south aisle,

so snug in its blanket of light.

I dare not cast my shadow on its beauty,

but hide within the column’s lea,

and watch mesmerised as these designs

shimmer like medieval cloth

spun over the rigid bones of this Minster.


I am not in this, even though

others add their gargoyle thoughts,

standing in the projecting glare

and printing their own dark selves

as shadows on this light show.

Aping vixens ears, or puppet shows

or huge dark giants that reveal

themselves as fooling children.


Do I see God’s pattern printed on their backs?

And I, holding aloof,

an observer and no part of it?

How wonderful to swim this stream of light

and see the old dark shadows fall away.
- Andrew Brown