The Last Carthusian

The large metal bell
with which I call myself
to prayer is wanted
by a museum.

I sing
in an affected accent
the responses
to the psalms

but the jackdaws
which laugh at me
from the roof
are not fooled.

In a refectory
which is chilly
and brown
I eat in silence.

In the afternoon
I put about me
a rougher
and larger cassock

and tend
my small garden,
its seedlings
and its slow herbs.

I sit on a wooden chair
and contemplate
the chitting
of potatoes.

On clear days
the sunset
will set the stone



Having led a largely peripatetic life for several years, playing the violin and exploring foreign lands on foot and by bus, Philip Rush now lives in a small Cotswold cottage in a small hillside village.  He runs a small publishing enterprise which helps local poets both to see their work in print and to share it at readings and elsewhere.  Every now and again, when he is able to do so, he catches a train for the continent or for the more remote parts of Great Britain. Some of his poems are in Carcanet’s New Poetries IV, Bloodaxe’s Hwaet! and in various pamphlets from Yew Tree Press.