Peter Cash: LINCOLNSHIRE CHURCHES (1998)

Out Of Print

PETER CASH was born in Lincolnshire on the last day f 1949 and is therefore facing the millennium with mixed emotions. Educated at Skegness Grammar School and Nottingham University, he is now kn his fourteenth year as Head of English Studies and Master in-charge-of 1st XI Cricket at Newcastle-under-Lyme School in Staffordshire.

He won and Eric Gregory Award in 1975 and a prize in the National Poetry Competition in 1982. Lincolnshire Churches is his fifth collection; its predecessor – Fen Poems (Staple First Editions 1992) – was also devoted to his native county.

“In Peter Cash’s poems, patient and unobtrusive networks of rhyme and half-rhyme transform grammatical statement into art . . . The kind of quiet excellence which is usually passed over in poetry competitions, but which is in fact flawless.”

Anne Stevenson
CROFT
Unfrequented roads run nowhere  
except into one another.  Even where they intersect, 
signposts can only point forlornly 
through flat pastures to the slow neglect

of All Saints’ Church: a square
point of reference on which those doubts 
– cast by open land and sky –
converge.  Quite whereabouts

my ancestors had dwellings
(which made this tower imperative)
has – for this half-century, at least –
been hard to see: by 1965,

too few lived near enough the fête
to fill the Vicarage lawn again ...
The closed school is an unused ‘hall’;
cow-parsley ruminates on Pinchbeck Lane.

In fact, I never found a churchyard
more confused, worse wrecked
– as if the community lost its shape 
long before its last Searby died.  In fact,

each grave is nothing but a clever stone
made stupid and illegible by rain;
nor can the table-tomb under the copper beech
– collapsed, embarrassed, vain –

be much of a comfort to Jobs 
in their constant adjustments to loss.
Outnumbered children, with a dog, 
rampage across the sunken moss.

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