My eyes took in the gable wall from beneath the lintel stone;

Pointing stark towards open sky, the tapering chimney cone.


Time worn timbers overhead, exposed by missing thatch;

Forever gone the old half door, with its loose and welcome latch.


Precious memories engulfed me, across the divide of time;

Standing there within those walls, held by sand and lime.


The empty hearth lay cold and bleak, overhung by vacant crook;

Still on the wall a candle sconce, inside the window nook.


Gone the days that light had shone, guiding us on the wave to lee’

Returning home with net and catch, the harvest of the sea.


Along a vortex to the past, my mind did reel and spin,

As I reached across the years to youth and all my kin.


I saw my Mother sitting in the shelter of a shawl,

She always wrapped around me when I was cold and small.


I heard my Father call my name as he laboured on the shore,

And I believe I answered him, like many years before.


Then a movement on the hill, caught the corner of my eye,

‘Twas my true love, ‘Dearest Darlin’, contoured against the sky.


I ran out to embrace her whom I’d left so long ago,

My heart filling with gladness as I called from there below.


Then I awoke from my daydream, in the shade of the chimney cone;

Standing there in silent witness; I was very much alone.


Monty Alexander 25.4.97


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