Repairing the Walls of Heaven by Simon Williams

Repairing The Walls Of Heaven

You’d think it would all be taken care of,
that minor building work and patching of the jasper walls
would be unnecessary. Far from it.

I volunteered; I used to be a brickie,
could lay a line as straight as a Carmalite nun,
though with all this emerald and onyx, I needed some retraining.

Like everything, there’s a knack to it.
I can reset amethysts as plush as angel’s skin;
it’s barely worth it on the outside, though. Nobody notices,

all too keen to get through the gates they are,
but once they’ve made it, they spend
a while sightseeing, admire my handiwork.

I’m happy with the job, though like the Severn bridge,
it’s never-ending. The only bugbear are those cherubim,
less apprentices, more Winged Monkeys.

On the plus side, I’ve ditched the ladders;
their little wings blur as they point the parapet
and there’s music every lunchtime, harps and lyres,

the occasional trumpet. I don’t do the buildings,
all glassgold and offering no privacy. Glaziers
and goldsmiths handle those; they have a different union.


Simon Williams has written poetry for 35 years. It ranges widely, from quirky pieces often derived from news items or science and technology, to biographical themes, to the occasional Clerihew. He has five published collections, the latest being A Place Where Odd Animals Stand (Oversteps Books, 2012) and Wastrels  (Paper Dart Press, 2015). Simon has a website at, was The Bard of Exeter in 2013 and founded The Broadsheet ( He makes a living as a journalist.

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