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.

Imagination

A blessing and a curse

this vivid imagination

conjuring up so many pleasant daydream worlds,

and paintings, stories, poems, music.

Allowing me to put myself in another’s shoes,

to empathise.

Enabling me to imagine the worse possible catastrophic outcome

for any situation I find myself in.

My body doesn’t know

that the stories in my head are not real,

and responds with pleasure, excitement, fear, dread, anxiety,

feeling it all, deeply.

And it takes a strong rational act of will to calm down,

to find a way back into the here and now.

Leaving the world of the imagination is not easy.

A blessing, and a curse.