At the frontier

Ancient tongues

from distant lands

mingle

on this windswept hillside,

the smell of exotic food

wafting in the breeze,

the sound of feet

marching into the distance.

Out of the corner of my eye

the glint of sun on metal.

Two thousand year old memories

uncovered, displayed,

brought to life

in my imagination.

I turn, and all I hear

is the wind, sighing

through the stones,

all I see is the wall

marching off

into the distance.

The past is close here,

there are stories

still buried beneath this land,

waiting to be heard.


Another visit to Hadrian’s Wall yesterday. The wall, forts, Roman towns, landscape and excellent museums always combine to fire up my imagination. I just find it remarkable that the Romans got this far north at all (actually they got further, to the north of Scotland). Some of the soldiers at Hadrian’s Wall were from modern day Syria. And they would have marched all the way from there to the north of England. The weather must have come as a shock.

Words

Here, unexpectedly

I rediscovered my love

of words;

yours, and mine.

I take the feeling

deep within

and pour it out

across the screen

lightheartedly.

Or I wait

for the words

to strike,

to pass through,

from who knows where.

A communion

from my heart

to yours.

Sea pilgrims

Here we are,

the sea pilgrims.

The wanderers,

the seekers,

the beachcombers,

the sunset-catchers.

Not many of us tonight.

A damp evening,

dark before its time.

Thunder rumbles in the distance,

water mirrors grey

and turns it into silver,

alchemy before our eyes.

An infinite supply of treasure

for a sea pilgrim.

We leave the shore,

turn inland,

the light darkens,

sky lowers,

but inside us the sea shines silver,

and fills our hearts with light.

Starbathing

A glimpse, from the window, of stars.

The great bear, or saucepan,

Tracing a line to the north.

After that, I had to go out.

Grabbed my coat,

Turned my face upwards,

Greeted familiar landmarks in the sky.

It’s so easy in winter 

To come home from work in the dark,

Spend the evening indoors,

Miss the simple wonder outside

Of a ceiling of stars.

The owls were quiet tonight

As I stood

Starbathing.

Waiting for inspiration

I have been wondering where my next painting will come from,

When I’ll feel like picking up my brushes again.

I don’t force it,

Inspiration can come in waves, or drops,

It trickled through this weekend,

First, a glimpse of a dusty canvas,

A feeling that I’d like to play with paint on it,

But not knowing what the subject would be.

Then, brightening up breakfast, goldfinches on the bird feeder.

Later, out birding,  I glimpsed a tawny owl, roosting in a tree.

I watched a kingfisher, blue and orange among ochre reeds,

It caught three silvery fish while I watched.

And then, through my binoculars, a close up of branches and yellow lichen,

Mossy greens, rich browns and an idea takes shape,

The perfect background on which to paint

Goldfinches.