Upending a Story by Trevor Thorn

I’m in the middle of a delightful few days. I’m having a quiet week in the magnificent setting of Launde Abbey, the diocesan retreat house for the dioceses of Leicester and Peterborough. Pam, my wife, is on an Icon painting retreat led by Peter Murphy. I have come along to enjoy the quiet and hopefully, to complete a number of fragments of poems that have been started and laid to one side, generally because of a lack of time – so this is a splendid. splendid opportunity to make sure that some part-finished material is not wasted.

One of the pieces I had not completed followed from an earlier prose piece ‘A Temple Trader’s Rant’ and now, in a few short verses expresses the same individual’s satisfaction later in the same week...  

A Temple Trader’s Glee
He lashed me with a rope of knots
And wrecked a whole day’s trade,
But I’ve just seen him flayed alive,
It’s been a great, great day.

For generations we have served
The people of this land
By always having Temple coin
Kept readily to hand.

Exchanging it for Roman dross
Or valued artefacts,
Of course, we have made profits
Even after sky-high tax.

The priestly leaders love us
Our business keeps them clean
From handling ‘filthy lucre’
which to them is quite obscene.

So when this Galilean
Disturbed the Festal flow
When profit margins always peak,
He simply had to go.

The priests were quite ecstatic
We’d drawn the Rabbi’s wrath
And given them a reason, just,
At least to have him flogged.


  1. Nice poem, Trevor. I wondered where you were going with this to start with, but it became clear as I read on. Good sense of metre.

  2. Very powerful message that anger and resentment feed violence and a desire for revenge.


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