by Best Poem
All Saints Cathedral
Who says colonial history
Doesn’t speak to us anymore.
Just look at the gothic spires,
The ballflower ornament,
Of the cream and red sandstones
Of the All Saints Cathedral and
You will see the darkening moss
Spreading like a sermon,
Telling a story of mango-dappled afternoons,
Guava scented mornings,
Where Christ became global
In form and content.
The cloisters are still
Dark and cold in summers,
The stained glass baptistery
Silently biblical and apocalyptic,
The reredo behind the marble alter still redolent
Of a belief in miracles,
The nave with dark teak pews
Echo with the voices of childhood.
If you strain your ears you can still hear
The dull soft choir of yesteryears
Now mixed with the cooing of roosting doves
And the decrepit stain of impermanence.
Mukesh Williams teaches English and American Studies at two universities in Japan and also writes poetry. A small book of his poems, Nakasendo and Other Poems, was published by Writers Workshop, Calcutta, in 2006. An Indian citizen, Mukesh has a doctorate in Contemporary American Literature from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. He has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses on English poetry, fiction, prose and drama for nearly two decades at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. His third and latest co-authored book, Representing India: Politics, Identities, and Literatures has been released by Oxford University Press in December 2007. He can be contacted through his blog site.