Through village church’s window pane the beech
draws shadows on lit curtain’s meagre width;
next to the casing through two bright-blue slits
parallel yellow bars skim through each breach.
And on the far wall glaring sunshine lies,
sliced by thin lines to squares that brightly sprawl:
upwards round shadows creep, only to fall
quite suddenly, as if they are huge flies.
Old men and women in the paupers’ pew,
hands folded, keep the vicar well in view:
he talks of bliss that’s found in Better Lands.
In turn, through glittering holes midst beech-tree leaves
the eternal sun strews tiny golden seeds
over what now are resting, worn out hands.
The diagonal light is also a strong feature in the painting (three versions) by Charles de Groux in his ‘Le banc des pauvres’. To see a version of the work, go to here.