Abingdon – a poem

Leigh has sent in this poem about Abingdon for the 10 poems about Abingdon blog project. Thankyou to her. I hope you enjoy it as I did.

On St Helen’s wharf I stand
To watch the water flow
Reflecting lives lived long ago
Closing my eyes, I feel the sun grown strong within my soul
I sense the strength of the church behind me

Across the water, a monk catches my eye
His cassock filled with holy treasure
Hours spent in scripture and pleasure
Like a kingfisher he weaves through the reeds
Flashes of crimson on a somber breeze

Make haste, the King’s men come tomorrow
We must not let the Abbey fall
We cannot let them have this all
We must listen to Our Father’s calls
And he is gone, I fear not long destined to be in his earthly world

Now here are the boats, the Thames is alive
A clamor of passengers and cargo arrives
The drinking begins, there are merry goings on
A large group of locals break into song
The smell of Morland ale overwhelmingly strong

A young boy approaches
Little blond curls, a laughing face
A familiar imprint in an unfamiliar place
Twirling his wool cap, he is clearly enjoying the day
He looks at me from years away

I bend down to speak, what is this jubilee?
He looks at me, wide eyed, I must know!
It is Michaelmas Fair
Sweet treats and games, not Latin and prayer
He skips away floating on cobbles of air

Change has come, bitterly cold
The square filled young and old
Soldiers parading
A whole town commemorating
Falling silent for those lost before today

Prayers for our men
They bow their heads and line the Thames
A war to end all wars they said then
Yet the bells tolls not once, but twice

And finally I hear
Morris men approaching near
With bells and music and Oxfordshire cheer
A whole town celebrating, salivating
Whilst buns burst down from the sky

An apricot sun sets deep over Rye Farm
Painting brushstrokes across the sky with its arm
I bid a farewell to those who have passed
And I turn to wander home
Restful at last

For this is where I hold my own memories near
And cherish those I love most dear
Where a part of me will forever be
Woven with ghosts of whispered history

Leigh Hogan – All Rights Reserved 2021

P.S Blogging may be a bit patchy in May as I am coming and going a lot for family reasons. So please send in what you can to help fill out the month.

2 thoughts on “Abingdon – a poem

  1. PPJS

    Have a good month, Backstreeter. Thanks for all your skill and effort in making this blog so remarkable.


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