Wing Mill 

Poem inspired by Paul McCartney's Windmill Recording Studio, near Rye, East Sussex

St. Clement's Church, Hastings

From behind the fence St. Clement’s Church is gazing at me, half hidden by bare branches, and I can’t help but remember a dream I had at fourteen.

In that dream, I was, just like the church, hiding behind a branch, which was all I had to hide behind. The trouble was that I was naked, and on the school bus - St. Clement’s appears to be in a much better situation. 

She knows I’m here, and is fiercely guarding her secrets, as the overgrown gate and stairs to the cemetery at the back can testify. She stands surrounded by other buildings, like guards; some of them tall, gothic and dark, others just your ordinary friendly houses next door – but all of them rich in ghosts and history, and always on duty. 

Saint Clement, the actual Saint, it is said, died tied to an anchor and thrown into the sea – which is an ironic death, seeing he is the patron saint of metalworkers and blacksmiths. Maybe it is due to this infamous name patron that, as defeated and immovable as she was hundreds of years ago, she feels reliant on her host of bodyguard buildings. 

The church didn’t fool me, despite the brave front. She is standing proudly, openly facing the world, despite the atrocities that have been done to her, like the monstrously ugly new doors, and damage, and the criminal obscuring of her stained glass windows. 

Like a tower she prevails, under the flashlights of tourists, darkly under a cowardly sky. 

But if you go around the back you see the truth - a vulnerable old building in need of protection, despite her stately airs. She just sits there day in, day out; worn, but still a well-loved bridge-builder, dreaming of her youth. 

Silver And Gold (Ashburnham place) - lyric draft 


“The silver is mine and the gold is mine”, 

said the Lord of the Angel Armies.

“In this place I’ll grant peace. “

I’m walking the grounds, 

Under the new building’s stern eyes,

And yet I can’t find any release.


There’s a mystery of shadows and sun-dialled hours,

And walls to keep something in, something out;

there's ghosts of old manuscripts that died in a fire,

and a pale crescent moon is still milling about. 


"Be strong, all you people of the land, and work. 

For I am with you," said the Lord.

"Soon I’ll once more shake the heavens and earth,

Please hold my wine and my sword."


“The silver is mine and the gold is mine”, 

said the Lord of the Armies of Heaven,

"I'll fill this house with glory.”

I study the land, but the dog statue guards

Won't tell me the entire story. 


"The silver is mine, and the gold is mine,

I'll make you like my signet ring.

The labyrinth's mine, and the lake is mine,

I've chosen you, I'm your wellspring."


"I’ll overturn thrones and I’ll shatter kingdoms,

I’ll overthrow chariots and drivers; 

horses will fall, and riders will fall

by their brother’s swords, but you’ll be survivors."


"The silver is mine, and the gold is mine,

I’ll make you like my signet ring.

The Ladyspring is mine, and the grove is mine,

the boathouse is mine, and the temple is mine,

I’ve chosen you, you’re the wellspring. 


The silver, the silver, the gold, it's still mine…