I’r Castell

To stand in this place is not to feel

the weight of history, but the treasure

of its humanity. Go on a mist-damp day

in early spring; climb through the woods

solitary, roofed and walled and floored in green.

The gate, wood-massive and iron-barred,

stands open. Pass through it and become

part of the place’s past. It is not whole,

but propped up, unreconstructed. The wind

scours and wears the stone but the footprint

is still there; listen for the echo, trace it.


Pace the vast space of the bustling kitchens

and see the girl trudge with sloshing bucket

from the well. Climb higher on centuries-worn

steps to the wall. The soldier huddles in his cloak,

blows on numb fingers. Look over the parapet,

see the line of carts and carters below, groaning,

hauling grain and meat and fuel and fodder.

Look up, to the tower. The lord in his solar

gazes across the valley, self-satisfied or afraid;

his pale daughter frowns at her needlework.


Now close your eyes and hold this, glowing,

as if you’ve drunk the magic draught

from a light-filled cup. Soon you must return

to your workaday world, but here in this space

you are someone and somewhen else, wonder-full.

The birds sing in the nearing forest, the wind

caresses the stone, the tattered flag

flaps, the fortress stands empty and alone…

until you come again.

10 thoughts on “I’r Castell”

    1. Thanks so much. I’ve been trying to write about this particular castle for a looong time…


    1. Thank you! I have such a “thing” for crumbly old castles…I latch on to the images in my mind (with a little help from the photos we take).


I'd be so happy to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s