Tuesday, 12 February 2013


Sea-bound, land-locked,
ringed by high cathedral wall.
Journey's end and pilgrims' rest:
Saint Andrew's bones make travellers of us all.
I am a tourist in its streets,
no longer a participant in its daily rites.
That book is closed;
I cannot read its pages.

I have no more substance than the ghosts,
lingering layers of past and present.
A photograph that fades: soft-edged shadows
with a keener sense of loss.
I am a whisper
of conversations, laughter, tears;
essays unwritten, blank pages and troubled sighs.

Other people walk the same lanes home,
drink tea where once I sat and whiled away the hours
with a pile of books.

Its joys and cares do not concern me now:
I don't belong here.

From harbour-head to river-mouth,
I am a stranger to the place I knew so well,
and know it still, but others now, they know it too,
and it is theirs, not mine. For now.

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