Preaching to Ducks

The chestnuts’ sad sonnets are strangled with steel
And the barn owls are living as filing clerks.
The Vicar of Christ on his Catherine wheel
Is preaching to ducks in the city parks.
Quack go the ducks, quack-quack, quack-quack.
Tell us the truths that we need to know.
How many miles to Heaven and back?
Where do the hawks and the foxes go?
A rolling stone will gather no moss.
Pax vobiscum, my birdy brothers.
Cleave to the Lord and the One True Cross.
Follow His Church and forsake all others.
Quack go the ducks in their innocence,
So blessedly free of intelligence.

John Whitworth
who confesses that he stole the essence of line 1 from a poem by Anne-Marie Brumm (Orbis No 130 Autumn 2004)

If you have any comments on this poem,
John Whitworth would be pleased to hear from you.