Here is the opening to Tidings
The Voice of Silence
I am the oldest angel, the dark side of the brain.
Everything untold, suppressed, unseemly or wild
is under my protection. I am Charoum,
Angel of Silence. I am the seed of fire
in a hearth you thought was cold,
the stillness when you step into moonlit snow
and who you are in private. I appear
whenever surface cracks,
lustre and veneer rub thin. Silence, you say,
when you make room for wonder.
I am less and less here. But tonight, for twenty-four
strange hours in the darkness of the year, I have a voice –
For this is Christmas Eve when everything hidden
comes alive. Children’s toys
that have rolled under a sofa, or stayed
in the cupboard unplayed-with for years,
the mice you weren’t aware of in the wall,
and your own unspoken longing to be given
something more by life: suddenly, if you listen,
all unnoticed things can talk. And so can I. Tonight
I play a part in everyone’s secret search
for something better. Come with me
to St Pancras Old Church, on a little London hill
runed with twenty centuries of human stories.
Nearby, shops are closing on Camden High Street,
Euston Road. The sky is that bruise-colour
you hardly think is sky, and sodium lights
from the station terminal
flicker in glass sides of the bus shelter
like a zodiac on mica.
London’s neon glory falls
on wet-purple tarmac of Royal
College Street and its last-minute traffic:
on roadworks, traffic cones, surveillance cameras
above the door of a homeless hostel
and the final Eurostar before the Christmas break.