I turned and saw the mist swallow
the vista I’d left behind. The forests,
cleaved valleys, vines on ridiculous slopes,
towns, humbled cottages, grand old houses
with steepled rooves, churches and castles.
Glorious shades of Autumn’s splendour.
All disappearing as if in a dream, fading
as though they had never been.
The crumbled and hollowed ruins, silhouetted
black, perch precarious piercing the sky and
remain etched resonating a memory of a
tyrannous sad past. Of razed castles, rubble
and countless generations lost, obscene excesses
of religious sects, kings, emperors, the ruling class.
Memorials to egos needing inflation, for their right?
to conquer and rule, of power unleased while all
humility and humanity is denied. One destruction
over, all is built anew like pieces on a
chessboard, set up, readied for the next assault,
winner takes all, the pawn’s fodder for the
next insanity. Again and again the earth has
endured this destruction and it took me aback
that as I walked through many an ‘old town’ at
the Rhine water’s edge I felt the immense
sorrowing – of the land, the horror and
senseless brutality, the centuries of bitter
memories of spilt blood soaked deep into
the bowels of the earth never to be healed.
Fingers of torture and fear reached out to me,
enveloped me till I almost wept and a melancholy
descended as I walked along the worn cobbled
stones – just another tourist touching the past.