Dancing Dust

Poems by Mollie Caird (1922-2000)

Pipe dream

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Thematic index of poems



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In Preachers Lane, late Gas Street,
The air is blue with words,
Bright shillings clink in metres
And texts are for the birds.
You may hearken to the Scriptures
Or hear the Gospel call,
But posters and graffiti
Are the writing on the wall.

In Preachers Lane, late Gas Street,
The pressure's up and down;
Learned orotundities
Thunder through the town:
A hiss of incandescence,
A rattle of dry bones,
A whiff of hell's brimstone
Between the paving stones.

In Preachers Lane, late Gas Street,
There's light in darkness yet,
By the mantle of the prophet
Or the mantle of the jet,
And all the gas in all the world,
Crammed in a big balloon,
Shall float us up to heaven
Some Sunday afternoon.

Gas Street in Oxford was renamed Preachers Lane in 1961.

Oxford Times, 18 October 1968
The Dancing Dust and other poems, 1983