States of Poetry 2016 - TAS | 'Avila' by Graeme Hetherington




 The badly wounded and the poor
Move round the city with the sun
And little else to keep them warm,

While time softens cathedral stone,
Plucks eagles bald and breaks the wings
Of St Teresa's doves in flight.



 A fine day shows up broken teeth,
Club feet, ten thumbs and squinting eyes,
The signs of under-privileged genes.
Such people built the city walls,

Served church and king in countless wars.
The past has much to answer for
When sunlight's only kind to stained
Glass windows and bejewelled swords.

Graeme Hetherington