A tourist visit running its course when
September mist rolls over
the plain, lapping at the
crumbled stone walls. Flowery-
spired in the distance, the new cathedral sharp
marks the town, but here within pasture’s
buffering silence I stand at the edge
of the ruined castle, listening hard for spirit unseen—
a prisoned queen in impotent state, the
days of her scheming become salt
scribes and prayers for a glimpse of ocean.
Inspired by NaPoWriMo’s prompt: Write a “golden shovel.” The last word of each line is a word from the first stanza of William Carlos Williams’ “Flowers by the Sea.” Last fall I visited Old Sarum in southern England, where I learned that in the years 1173 – 1189, Eleanor of Aquitaine was placed under house arrest in that castle (and others) by her husband, King Henry II, after she incited their sons to rebellion.