Claves regni

Keys of St PeterCrossed keys, an interlocking thread
Drawn through my life,
Metal on metal always, and from childhood seeking
Rhythm and melody on long-lost journeys
By oil, steam and water to the ageless
Jingle and ring of bridle, bit and smithy.

Unlocking life, we improvise
In keys of cream and black, major to minor,
Our introspection
Embroidered on plain silence.
Move through those keys and time
Changes, wheels come full circle, mesh,
And metal rings on metal in the song of years.

Wandering in time, though modes
change, we pick up timeless melody
And work its threads into our fabric,
Plainsong to sons of Gloucestershire,
the whole gam-ut,
Unlocking signs of flowing black on cream
Whilst grieving over fleeting, floating echoes.

The ring is endless, whole; lay down the hammer,
Organ or forge, the bellows breathe their last;
Fabric of melody
runs down to single strand; lock in the needle.

Time to turn the key.

David Page

David Page, sometime Deputy Organist at St Peter's and no mean improviser himself, is an enthusiast of railways, horses, and that famous son of Gloucestershire, Herbert Howells.


http://www.stpetersnottingham.org/poem/claves.htm
St Peter's Church, Nottingham
Last revised 30th August 1997