The She Sentinel


The She Sentinel


A small festival, where pilgrims, 

unknown to themselves, climb me

Clutching children, 

adorned with picnics, 

They play

And round my ragged peak, 

they stand and point their heads

For the length of a heartbeat

And wonder . . .


But it was not always thus


Over many years he changed my face

Wrought outer magic on my hillside

Created wonder and even let the pilgrims in

Though they were ragged then, and poor


But he never saw my heart

Though his wife would stand and stare

And wonder . . .


But it was not always thus


In older times

Erased now from their memories

When brother fought with brother

And the blood of the kin spilled like water

On my soil

They lit a beacon here

To warn that killing approached

In the time when the head 

Began to rule the heart


And even then

Some, sweating in bloodied armour

Would stop and stare

Or, decorated, stop their steeds

And pause a while

And wonder


But it was not always thus


But of the ancients, I will not speak

For you do not have the ears that hear


And now you . . .


And now you amuse me

For six days you have risen at dawn

To walk your personal trail to me

To stand and stare


But you dare to do this with your heart


I wonder, will I let you in?


Perhaps, tomorrow, when

My sister the wind

Says she will carry the water

That floods the land


Then we will see if you have

The ancient intent

And then, perhaps . . . 


It will not always have been thus.


©Copyright Stephen Tanham 2015


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