Blood will have blood

Patricia Beer

Now the Conference stands up to sing
About the blood that dyed the scarlet banners,
Face after flushed face lauding a vampire king.

At church service this morning all the sinners
Were non-political. The leaders came
To Blackpool as sincere long-distance runners

Away, by miles and years, from the blood of the Lamb
That clotted in their youth: a tourists’ stain
On arras or flagged floor, touched up by time.

They would not go to church. And yet they join
In words as gory as a hymn, or God
The Son. I look for embarrassment, see none.

It’s getting dark. Today the martyr dead
Of church and politics have heard the glee
The blood in the veins sings with the blood outside.