Deus Absconditus

Sunday in Wales
and small white clouds
drift over the sheep
on the hills like prayers
on the way to heaven.

The pessimistic metaphor
R S Thomas will preach
from the black pulpit -
painted black
by his own hand.

"The supreme being will doubtless fail to joins us."

His flock has dwindled
to a faithless few.

The hymns will be softly sung
and strangled

In the wind's knot
before the lichgate.

The sermon will be short
and unmemorable.

Muttered prayers
will barely move the grim lips.

Not one voice
will reach the clouds.