In a Foreign File of
Dokumenti I Fakti

by Steve Sneyd

on the case of stephen henry sneyd
direction change chance
as so many things
doing chemistry degree
union bar theology student
confiding lacking other audience
these days don’t have to believe in
god to become Church of England vicar
sea of faith school that roughly our
collective gene emanations
create entity to believe in a twist perhaps
on Teilhard de Chardin’s noosphere
all life largest to smallest
planet too make up life form
convincing or not mattering
as long as convincingly serves need to believe
and basically a social function organization
anyhow Teilhard suspected of being
brains behind Piltdown Man a similar
concept missing link needed primed
to believe so did as for eg take the Higgs
Boson god particle and so on and enough
by closing time sure would work and morningwise
idea seemed more brilliant still and
change of course surprisingly
easy though dull paperwork dusty
department head interview a term
of grant lost and on and on through
post graduate theological college
to ordination ritual words exchanged
seeming mutual conspiracy of
gift of tongues saying without
meaning no surprises just restrain
urge to make bad jokes of till
someone senior has done the same first
more and more years a habit now
of right words right time and in time
church in small dull village
easy to empty with undue long sermons
parishioners drifted away good news
life of speculative peace and bonus
the churchyard’s mound to fossick
amateur semi-licit church can do
what wants and its servants license
unneeded save what issue to yourself
through Roman Norse Angle layers
into barrow mound a goldcoat corpse
explains local legend of yellow plague
beast perhaps found temptation to
sell off quietly resisted instead
picturesque report accompanying
donation to county museum home
results in quiet local
fame and end to mutterings of
idle uncaring a poor priest
the world brings also
a sideline in exorcisms
tavern-accumulating chains’ marketers
aiming to promote trade with a ghost
easy to play along confirm such entity
too strong to remove utterly of course
just penned into one bedroom can
charge more to rent or costliest function
room profitable fun moreover become
fashionable enough to get to
meet popstars the like made it
moving to rural manors replacing
old aristos just what their parties
needed frisson of naughtiness wildness
an added edge would make better all but
medieval grandeur of sin to have a man
of the cloth there to hope to shock and
when at last weary of charades so easy
of such ongoing trick of confidence life
to exit with sufficient pension only needed
to pretend sincere beliefs though heart-
rendingly sad to have to leave prematurely
would not permit remaining now when women
against a myriad quotes to hand from Bible
admitted into priesthood and so comfortably
retired to seaside hollow suitably just handy
for where story has it Dracula arrived ashore
another tale enough believe true to make
remote location prosper ensure facilities
enough for all requirements for eg bookshops
plenty of bars young female folksingers to eye
and quieter nights always some chance
to bore other regular aging drinkers hollow
with ramblings in ex cathedra tones well
honed by decades with a straight face laying
down prayer book articles’ law from pulpit
height so firm sometimes echo back from
old stone manage to sound for sure
he meant it in detail from Dirac’s Constant
on how quantum science entanglement of
action at a distance all possible universes
not just possible but so and so and so
meant no escape now godbits everywhere
and truly truly as above as so below.
And then after closing time stumbling those
uphill ginnels home to high above the sea
and intermittent chocking hollow
laughter how habit tricks into believing after all
but still relieved each time to find by dawn
had all worn safely off again such lack of doubt.

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