Gargoyles were placed on buildings for protection, to absorb sin and allow rainwater to pass through them, cleansing consecrated ground. I’ve been miserably reading Larkin poetry (which incidentally, I don’t find depressing or miserable at all, unlike most people I know who have read his work) which probably explains this entry. I just like the idea of our bodies being fragile temples, on which we can build a sort of gargoyle, a guardian to dull certain pains and allow water to cleanse us of memory.


It’s funny how when sitting
On a roadside in the evening
With one you half remember from a diary
Years ago,

The past’s granite talons scratch you
With soft fists tainted with jasmine,
Or hotel sheets from Holland, or mock-tudor icing,

You can feel stone hands grip tighter
On a heart you were sure was stronger
From a hundred days of placing small grey
Guardians on your chest,

And just one sentence leaves you helpless,
Like “you haven’t changed at all’ or worse:
“I always seemed to hurt the ones I know
That loved me best”.

About Benjamin Norris

Published writer of short stories, long stories, poems. Well received art critic and cultural commentator for Berlin magazines. Collaborator with operatic societies. Co-writer of fictional historic psycholinguistic journals. Lecturer of architecture and art history at a Budapest University. View all posts by Benjamin Norris

2 responses to “Gargoyles

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