Archive | March, 2021

Grantchester 1978

30 Mar

We lived near Grantchester 1977-8. We returned in 2006 to find it greatly changed, built up by housing and businesses, but still recognizable.

Grantchester, Cambridgeshire 1978

Come walk with me.

We’ll have a pint at Green Man

then go on to Anstey Way,

pass the tea room 

and the green grocer,

cross the high street

and wind along Maris Lane—

it’s just a country road—

past Saint Michael’s church—

Sir Roger stands in brass 

ready to be rubbed.

We could take a 

byway to the pond where

Byron swam,

but let’s continue past the barn

and the fields it still commands.

The lane bends around the house

where Frazer first conceived 

the Golden Bough—a Scotsman’s

take on magical religion.

As we go with the turning path,

voila! the tea room in the orchard

along the Cambs where scholars

dock their punts for quiet respite.

And there is Rupert’s tower—

“the Church clock at ten to three

and honey still for tea.” Of this place

he sang in midst of war

“There’s peace and holy quiet there.”

This is Grantchester—

before the masters of commerce

rewrote Rupert Brooke.

With respects to Rupert  Brooke

“The Old Vicarage, Grantchester”—1912

J. G. Frazer’s book is  “The Golden Bough: 

A Study in Magic and Religion “

(c) Phil Hefner 3/302021

Two poems responding to the News of the Day

5 Mar

They set their sights so low

“My name, my personal brand,

is worth millions, I can’t let it

be cheapened!” 

He spoke earnestly to the interviewer.

They set their sights so low—

When your name’s on a tombstone,

what is its worth?

Fame and celebrity

seem to count for a lot,

even seem to rub off 

on those who touch

the sleeve of fame.

So many arse lickers

(as some would say)—

more than one imagines.

They set their sights so low—

Fame is like

yesterday’s newspaper—

a handy wrapper for today’s trash.

——————————————————-

As If

A Prose Poem

Lives of denial carry on—

As if it isn’t of highest priority that our nation work to repair an imperfect union of many cultures and persons.

As if it is naive to believe the paths of power and truth should coincide.

As if it is of no consequence that all people are created equal.

As if it makes no difference that at our best we go forward two steps and backwards one.

As if it is not worthy of rational thinkers to hold that the profoundest law of nature, the basis of all things, is the Reality of Love.

As if it is a trivial question whether we are part of a world that is proceeding toward completion and fulfillment.

As if it is irrelevant that we are created in the image of God.

The engaged life is a wager that As If is a signal of the real world.

(c) Phil Hefner 

They set their sights so low

5 Mar

They set their sights so low

“My name, my personal brand,

is worth millions, I can’t let it

be cheapened!” 

He spoke earnestly to the interviewer.

They set their sights so low—

When your name’s on a tombstone,

what is its worth?

Fame and celebrity

seem to count for a lot,

even seem to rub off 

on those who touch

the sleeve of fame.

So many arse lickers

(as some would say)—

more than one imagines.

They set their sights so low—

Fame is like

yesterday’s newspaper—

a handy wrapper for today’s trash.

Phil Hefner     3/3/2021