CLOSING SCENES of the Salisbury Festival:
Haydn and Mozart in St. Edmund’s Church,
A building soon to be deconsecrated
Because irrelevant to civic needs
And turned into a meaningful hotel.
Involuntarily the mind throws up
Fancies of Japanese, back from Stonehenge,
Quaffing keg bitter by the pulpit stair,
Swedes booking coach-tours in the chancel.
SALISBURY becomes a part of Area 5
In 1974, and so its mayor,
Whose office dates back to 1611
(The year of the King James Bible, actually),
Will soon be as irrelevant as the church,
But need not be turned into anything.
LATER THAT NIGHT, outside the City Hall,
Past the Cadena, Debenham’s, Joyland,
Men of the 1st Bn. the Royal Scots
Perform the historic ceremony of Tattoo.
Plaids, bonnets, flash of tenor-drummers’ sticks,
The pipes, stir the blood unmeaningfully
Till ‘Jesus Christ, Superstar’ rings out
In the quick march, and relevance is restored.
From Poetry Nation No 2 (1974)