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This poem is taken from PN Review 9, Volume 6 Number 1, September - October 1979.

A Handbook of Suffolk Churches Ian McMillan

1. Iken

In R. H. Dove's book, "Church Bells in Britain",
Iken is down as a four-bell tower. I had to walk
past a barking animal, through a field of stones,
to discover that the roof had gone, that people
were digging for Saxon evidence, that services
were held in ten feet near the table, boarded off.
Services were held monthly, tightly by the scruff,
gripped to stop them blowing over the fields, held
to stop them rushing past the empty wall-space,
flying like ladies' scarves and hats, over into
the water near an old boat called Robin. Ropes
of the bells were tied high above a wheelbarrow
and they flapped in the wind which shuddered
even the Saxon evidence in pre-bag jugs below
the grass. As the ropes moved, twitching tails,
stray notes, blown from the Maltings, a mile away
...


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