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Geoff Stevens has been editor of Purple Patch poetry magazine for over 30 years, his own poetry is published widely and his current book is The Phrenology of Anaglypta. He also has a performance CD called Live In The Studio and a pamphlet The All Night Cafe produced jointly with Brendan Hawthorne. The Guardian newspaper recently called his magazine "A National Treasure".

The Truth About Ruth (& Primitive Methodism)

Brought up strictly Baptist
you were as religous as sin
forever christening new experiences
while your husband was working in engineering
but subconsciously selling bibles

Meanwhile you, housewife
took long busrides
trawled the streets for someone
to drop into conversation with
someone who would take you out in his car

to some deserted place
and cherish you
take your body out of the wilderness
and make it glow
someone who would take you to his house

and draw the curtains over it all
someone who would tell you a story
turn the pages of your inhibitions
underline your requirements
write the right notes in your margins

You were looking for an Old Testament life
the flesh and bone and blood of it
but not the regulations
and each sunday you'd sit
on the hard narrow pew

and bow your head
so that your thoughts didn't show
thoughts of warm strong hands upon your body
sweet words in your ears
bible paper rolled up and smoked

post coital
in those dark silent rooms of passion
that were filled with the singing of your veins
the organ-throbbing music of close memory

Copyright © 2007 Geoff Stevens