Words under Pressure #21

It’s been a while since my internal Words under Pressure made their insistent way out into some sort of form.

Up to now, I’ve been busy, contented, creative and only moderately decrepit for a woman of my years and past history. The last 6 weeks, however, have forced me to reconsider many things in my life, and this piece of poetry reflects the sadness and sometimes bitterness of some decisions I’ve had to make recently. Many things I’d hoped and planned for will never happen now. Freedoms I’ve taken for granted are no longer there. Certain actions have Keep Out signs posted on them, for my own safety. I don’t take happily to this change, although those shining constants in my life without which I cannot live are still safely with me, unaffected and of great consolation.

Here we go, then.

Byzantium falls

I am a city under siege.
The ramparts built to last
A thousand years now crumble;
Trees grow atop my walls.

My great donjon sways,
Its foundations sapped,
Its fabric bitten by
The winds of time.

The glorious fortress falls,
Imperceptibly; and slow,
Inexorable and bleak
The soft decay to dust.

The palaces I built
Inside this fortress of my mind
Are gone, those shining
Monuments to glory.

So too the temples,
To beauty, health, ambition –
All gone, lost, ransacked.
Marauders passed this way.

My gardens are a waste
Sown with salt and regret.
Sunlit, dappled courts
Now home to shadows.

There is still a faded trace
of Byzantium’s years of glory;
An echo of what was
And will never be again.

I live as a ghost in my own ruins
And watch my bitter dust,
The slow sift of my fabric,
Down the shafts of sunlight.

When I wrote this, I was feeling sad, resentful and sorry for myself. Normal service has now resumed and my natural optimism has reasserted itself. I’m never allowed to grump for long, in any case; there’s too much that’s still great about life to enjoy out there. Like chocolate, and flowers, and friends, and pretty things to draw and sew…  🙂