Monks, possessed in all probability

of angular backsides, were permitted

to rest tired frames on misericords

where carvers seized their chance to decorate

what would lie hidden beneath behinds.

And now, to stop us eroding them

with prying fingers tracing wyverns,

protectors keep us at bay with ropes.

And only the persistent get to get

a good look at these eloquent records,

telling arrays of fables and foibles.

Lurking near Hell-mouths are dodgers, wrestlers,

coursers, drunken alewives. The quick sly fox

snatches geese or pauses long enough

to preach at them. Such gullible gawpers.

Is it best if we don’t see how others,

congregating, have been taken in here?

Bryan Podmore