Sir John Betjeman loved burnt toast.

Sir John Betjeman loved burnt toast according to letters and details I read about him in an attempt to write this poem in Postman’s Park last year. I wonder how he would have responded to reports that burnt toast and baked potatoes might affect our long term health?

The Pew     –   

I hope this is the pew where the poet once sat
having enjoyed his breakfast of burnt toast
sitting in his morning chair looking out to the grave yard
where his great grandfather is buried
drafting a letter then leaving his acorn
papered eerie to saunter out of Cloth Fair
in his heavy coat and wide brimmed hat.1-p1030099

I hope this is the pew where once the poet sat                                       listening to sacred music from the deep throated organ
wafting through ancient pillars up to the ornate ceiling
looking up at the famous alter painting stored in Wales
during the war and now with the day light flickering
on the angel with the chalice in Gethsemane
offering strength and courage to The Son of God.

I hope this is the pew where once the poet sat
next to the Wesley window that was not his favourite
but near the stone memorial for a much loved daughter
and not far from the detailed deliberations
of  Dame Anne Packington, widow, who in her will
in 1595 tried to devise ways to ensure her estate
would help the poor in perpetuity.1-p1030358

I hope this is the pew where once the poet sat
singing the hymns and half listening to the sermon
as thoughts of the letters he still had to write
and the  women that he loved passed through his mind
having time to later wander to favourite memorial
where it implies that it is not a man’s  ornate plague
but his good name and the deeds he accomplished.

 in memory of Sir John Betjeman. 

2-P1030367  6-P1040245  1-p1030400  1-dsc06872

Written in Postman’s Park as part of the ‘Mixed Borders’ poetry residency programme run by the Poetry part of ‘Open London Squares Weekend’

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