Monday, March 17, 2014

Doris knew a thing or two about walls

                                                                                                            Photo by Elke Wetzig


There’s a story in these home-made walls
that spans the years, a bridge you trudged with earth-
heavy barrow, shovel, boots, shoulders
body sweating under white-sunned heat,
thighs, ankles, toes  
muscling with alchemy
of straw and water, proof
in the clay-stained stones
and the fingerprinted mortar
that the past was real.

More real, you might say –
as your eye surveys the layered mass
and marvels at its depth, its weight, its volume,
all this evidence of stolid
perseverance – more real than
this empty-handed drift of present spent
in staring –  insubstantial, unheroic  –
at the walls:

but, then, that was how the past felt too
when it was never simply now
and you were never simply there.


  1. I am misquoting Robert Frost -
    'Something there is that loves a wall'
    Hope he won't mind!

  2. Oh yes, I love Robert Frost. One of my favourite lines from a poem of his is 'good fences make good neighbours' - hm, I feel another poem budding :-)