The Crossbones Vigil

Sunday 23rd February 2020

What a powerful, gentle, shimmering, healing Vigil at Crossbones this evening! Big Up Mark Juhan, Nicholas Greaves and Jules Allen for conducting with such grace and a lovely light touch. Leslie held the light, and Nicholas led the echo poem ‘Here lay your hearts…’ as we renewed the shrine. The offerings kicked off with John Crow doing ‘The Book of the New South Bank’ from ‘The Southwark Mysteries’, in which The Goose prophesies the redevelopment of Bankside and the resistance that reclaimed Crossbones as a sacred place. Drew did a variant on ‘Oranges and Lemons’ with the bells of south London, before controverially decapitating a Trump fetish. Melissa J. told how she dreamed of Crossbones long before she found it, then sang a wild outcast song and got us all joining in on the chorus: “We’re navvies and skivvies and blacksmiths and tarts / We live in the gutter and dream of the stars!” Jules used his spot to explore the elemental powers that can make and break our lives, then led us to contemplate Kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending broken pots with gold, topping it with the wisdom of Groucho Marx: “Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light”. Then Mark wrapped it all up with performances of poems by Harry Fainlight and John Constable, before leading us all in the unconditional blessings: ‘Open Pathways’ and ‘Goose may your Spirit fly free!’