Sunday, 16 January 2011

Dreams began here,
Beside tall skyward masts
Whose halyards slap the sound
Of summer’s sleepy breeze,
To ease night’s humid wakefulness
With the steady tock
Of time’s relentless wind,
Which long seasons since had
Sent Crusader’s zealous ships
To strange parched landscapes,
Where scorched anxious days,
Chill desert nights, moved
The magic of this place
To repossess the minds of
Men grown weary from
The quest to liberate
Edessa’s distant shore.

To have seen those ships
Assembled here!
Knights Templars’ golden shields
Bright burnished and reflecting
In an English sun the scarlet
Symbols of the death of God.

This has always been
An estuary of departures,
Leaving long ago to liberate some
Stony ground, grown sterile
From the symmetry of Islam’s
Need to scribe and circumscribe
The contours of both lines and lives.

Leaving here requires real reasons.
In any seasons of long years,
Or centuries of slow change
Those who go, would need to know
That absence could rearrange the earth,
To see the birth of promised lands
Seeded with the hope that something
Of this place, perhaps a trace
Of memory might endure, to summon
Dreams of these steep wooded hills
To illuminate some distant pilgrim’s sleep
With reasons to believe in God

It’s hard, even now,
Now that physics has set God to flight
To see this place and still
Believe that is all for nought.
That all this beauty, has arisen without thought.

If reason leads me to conclude
That standing here on Bayard’s Cove
To witness sunset on The Dart
That it, and I, are just an
Accidental part in a cosmic
Game of chance, then I’m just
Pleased, that as time ticks, at least
For me, the Cosmos threw a six!

© James Rainsford

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