wordsout by godfrey rust
< st john's ealing >


for Daphne Edwards, June 2014

So if you go down Mattock Lane,
Sunday, say, half-past three,
the chances are there’ll be a crowd 
who’ve gathered for their tea.
There’s some that’s rough, and some that’s tough,
some slack, and others graft,
but they’ve not come ‘cos they’ve been dumb
they come ‘cos they’ve been Daffed.

Each human care is gathered there,
the complex and mundane

to get out of abusive “love”, 
or get out of the rain;
to claim your rights, or start more fights
when too much beer’s been quaffed

but when you’ve found its all calmed down
you’ll know that you’ve been Daffed.

Don’t think your lies will blind her eyes,
she’s heard them all before;
yet when your tale is sad and stale
you’re never shown the door,
and if you stay you learn one day
a lesson out of heaven:
she’ll say “Amen” and try again,
seventy times seven.

She’s seen the need, the love, the greed,
the tears, the joys, the bitchin’:
all human life’s cut with a knife
in Ealing Church Soup Kitchen.
She’s made amends and made them friends,
the Hubcaps and the Soupies

then comes for tea at Cafe C
(surrounded by her groupies).

What do we do then, me and you,
to live the gospel out?
Believe our creeds? Do righteous deeds
and not admit to doubt?
Well, Jesus sat with folks like that
and ate and drank and laughed:
the Saviour on his best behaviour
looks like being Daffed.

But time goes past, nothing will last
except faith, hope and love;
when loved ones leave, people will grieve
it’s what love is made of.
You’ve walked and smiled the second mile
and made with nine year’s craft
a place to be community:
thanks that we've all been Daffed.

Read for Daphne at Cafe Church on June 29, 2014, to mark her leaving after nine years as care worker for the homeless at St John's Church, West Ealing.