some people think this is autobiographical and sometimes some people are right – it’s from me book.
In mellow autumnal September days
Children hunt conkers for playground scrapes
And before the fruit rots on the trees
And leaves turn brown and fall
I stow my bike in the luggage van
Of the Hull, Beverley, Scarborough train.
I get off at Flamborough
And ride to the Head,
At North Landing beach
I hunt white chalk stones
And pebbles right for skimming.
Then to an unmarked track,
Only a hare might run.
That leads to a path.
That leads to a chine
I consider mine.
A rivulet runs toward the sea.
And a stunted tree,
Genus unknown to me,
Overhangs the dribbling stream.
I mark each stone with the date.
And encircle the trunk making
A necklet of remembrance
Sea salt fresh stones
Are added to the pile
And fallen ones carefully restored
To their prior allotted spot.
I sit on the bank flicking
Skimmers to the sea,
They sink in an instant in the holy stream
And pray in my sanctuary –
A watery welcoming natural cathedral –
Of stones, stream and stunted tree,
For unborn souls
Sluiced from life ten years apart.
Each visit hugs together in my heart:
Two infants I did beget but never met.
Two former lovers – motherhood declined,
And the regret.
© coolhermit 2023
I started to embrace the spiritual sanctuary without rules or Creed. The notion of salt-clean remembrance and the esoteric allusion to a single life path, and then…. The bleakness, perhaps even futility of the pilgrimage left me in tears. Beautiful work…
Maybe all pilgrimages are ultimately futile but we press on anyway 🙂 Thanks, Jim.