Among thousands of well-tended churchyards,
the lychgate remains guarding some
as the portal from this life. In and out
we may pass during our petty days,
to sip tea and enthuse over cake,
to attend a happy marriage
or a hopeful christening. Yet we never see
the day when the wooden gate opens, for us,
through that final time when the funeral meats
have turned cold and our daily minutiae
will have counted for naught, except
in the annals of that eternal judge
Who would have the time,
and the patronage,
to build a new edifice to faith?
Today's monstrosities arise to lesser gods,
steel and glass tombs where no one lives,
while shanty towns mass around
in some claustrophobic hell,
whose denizens fight and beg
just to stay alive.
Such juxtaposition is not new -
only the extremes.