CASTLE WALK





On every visit back to my Coventry home I would find time to walk around Kenilworth Castle. I cycled there with my childhood friends, a daring 5 miles for today's children but it seemed normal then. I ran free in the Castle's shadow with my parents and brothers, enacting mock battles as imaginary Knights. In later years it was a more leisurely stroll, arm in arm with my mother. My own children joined me on our visits back from Spain, keen to share both the historical treasure and my memories and it was always a favourite walk with beloved friends, usually ending in the nearby cafe for tea and cake. I hope it will not be too long now before I return.

CASTLE WALK

Long have I walked the Castle walls,
biking the lanes to picnic on damp grass, 
arms though my mothers like linking chain, 
returning from exile with my growing brood,
a abiding place of peaceful pilgrimage.

Crisscrossing the marsh, boots sucked mudwards,
retreating to the high path with earth trod firm,
to shelter from blinding sun and sudden rains,
hidden in the brooding tunnel of trees,
inked branches holding hands over our heads.

Circling round, hopscotching cowpats,
I stop to stare, struck with awe once more
as the Castle rises from green skirts,
silhouetted against the clouding sky,
sombre in its ruined magnificence.

I am compelled to draw near, driven,
to scramble up slippy, grassed banks,
I lay my hand on stone cut by Normans,
peer on tipped toes through iron grills,
courted, the Castle claims its Knight.

Sense ghost of centuries in chill Autumn air,
Kings John, De Montforts, Henry’s heirs,
Elizabeth acclaimed with pomp’s fanfare,
court feasting, jesting, Warwick deer hunting,
power’s games reflected in the Great Mere.









© 2018 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved. 

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