Black frocked crows on falling walls,
by Janet Mary Zylstra
Spiders' gowns in ancient halls,
Age scarred flags maligned by weeds,
Windows spawning brambles' seed.
Dead mens' voices from the tomb
Rustle, leaf like, through the gloom;
Roofless, star stained, silver night
Wraps the ghosts in misty white.
Unmade beds of damp decay;
Shadowed, stunted trees of clay
Wear threadbare cowls, like timid monks
With malformed limbs and twisted trunks.
Holding up the dropping stones,
Like skin holds up fragmented bones,
Mould and mushrooms, mice and rats,
While corners drip with drowsing bats.
Sacred place once filled by prayer,
Foxes hold now as their lair;
Gregorian chants replaced by howls
Of cub and cat and hunting owls.