‘The word that is used most often by visitors is “Peaceful”’

Guide Book

Rough magic -

rock tomb entrance or birth canal?

Vomitory incantation

of the wodwo’s mouth,

here the human animal

is half mermaid, half basilisk.

Cat masks are Aztec

eviscerations of the yelling heart.

Plus all the squealing fun of the fair –

greased pig wrestlers, rebeck fiddlers.

Like do-it-yourself chest surgery

or gurner yanking cheeks apart

the local Sheila is never shut.

Here hungry hands

reach round the belly of the stoup.

Fear the cartoon creature in yourself

where dragons chew each others’ tails

endlessly - of Darwin’s

dance of life and death the repeat.

Birds caught in Celtic foliage

shriek, snap with their beaks, for release.

Even the paschal lamb

carrying its cross is ridiculous.

In a cauldron of green Hills

someone has stirred a grisly pot.

Here we may look with the upside down gaze

of the man hurtled to Hell

as at a misericord

up God’s backside.

Keith Chandler