Sunday, 20 March 2016


                                                                         Soldiers from the Herefordshire Militia
Dear Reader,

Francis Kilvert, in his diary for 18th March 1872, wrote of talking to an old man about a reprobate drunken fellow called James Davies, nicknamed 'Jim of the Dingle', who was put in the stocks at Clyro in Wales by Archdeacon Venables and the parish constable.  But 'Jim of the Dingle' had a companion as wicked as himself, and both of them belonged to the Herefordshire Militia.  When the Archdeacon and the constable had left Jim in the stocks, his friend brought an axe and beat the stocks to pieces, freeing the prisoner.  The two men then fled to Hereford, back to the Militia, and never returned to Clyro.  But the people of Clyro, seeing the stocks broken, demolished and burnt them, along with the whipping post, and no one was ever confined or whipped at Clyro again.

When people were placed in the stocks, their feet were locked into place, and sometimes their hands or heads may have been chained also.  Since stocks served as a form of outdoor public punishment, the victims were subjected to all weathers.  As a result it was not unusual for people kept in the stocks over several days to die from exposure.



I am
part of the whole.

I am
in the first light,
the bird's first song,
the sun's first dart
through the curtain crack,
in the music of summer trees.

I am
part of the alpha,
the birth,
the awakening,
the growing and spreading,
the throbbing of life.

I am part of all suffering
hands blood-stained.
Part of the love
humanity shares and
of all good things.

I am
part of the omega,
the closing, the last light,
the call back from the dark
to the bright, eternal night.


Very best wishes, Patricia


Rebecca said...

This is a very rich poem Patricia, I keep having to reread lines that resonate. The bright, eternal night is a beautiful paradoxical hopeful thing...apt for Holy Week too?
Jim of the dingle was a lad wasn't he?! I need to read Kilvert , especially as I'm from Hereford!

Anonymous said...

I think this might be my favourite poem of your 's to date, along with the child on the kitchen chair. Like all your writing, these are profound in their heartfelt humanity.
And three cheers for the people of Clyro! Xxx