A poem by Sarah Tait in response to ‘Canterbury Tales on a Cockcrow Morning’

October 27th, 2012 § 0 comments

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Sarah Tait’s poem ‘Taxi’, written in response to the stories ‘On the road to Canterbury’ and ‘I tell you, the taxi driver said’ from Canterbury Tales on a Cockcrow Morning by Maggie Harris. The poem was read as part of 7 Tales, 7 Days and Nights, 7 Poems at the Canterbury Festival 2012.

Waiting at the rank
cigarette flaring molten ash
as he draws the invisible gas
deep into pulsing lungs
watching smoke curl to nothing
thinking ‘so many stars tonight,
so many stars.’
The rumble of carriages
as the last train leaves
the crunch of heels on gravel
as he waits, hopeful for a fare
for a chat – for company on this longest night
of so many stars,
so many stars.
Cathedral floodlit –
stone warmed by halogen,
layer upon layer of chiselled adoration
piled atom on atom bound and inert
as his gaze lifts to the darkness
and the many stars
of this thousand-years night.
The clink of change
as he fingers his takings,
calls in to the operator
just to hear a voice, share a script
as time quietly stretches and loops
round the stars as he waits,
waits for the pilgrims and zealots
and tourists and martyrs
and passion and science
and mystery and conceit
all in and out and out and in
of his journey through forever
thinking ‘so many stars tonight,
so many stars.’

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