Pim Claridge

Life in the Scottish Borders, one stanza at a time

Under An English Oak

In the heavy heat of afternoon we climbed the zig zag path
cypress and sweet wild flowers edged our way,
and glimpses of the molten Grecian sea brought
cooling thoughts to mind...
on a pinnacle set above that limpid, shining sweep
a small temple sits, aloof, hugging centuries of history
within its brooding, thick stone walls...
light falls on the icon glowing with a painter's passion, and
small crumpled notes and scribbled prayers,
written by trembling, wishing hands, are tucked in every
nook and crevice
or amongst the old books upon the wall
where stipple stainglass shadows weave a mystery of ancient,
illuminated words, on a yellowed page…
outside are tombs, and stillness underneath the English oak
which broods moodily beneath the Aegean sun
as it slips slowly beyond the edge of dreams..
the silence whispers of unspoken grief, and longing,
the air is laden with the scent of herbs
that grow wild on slopes below
where the plaintive bleat of a grazing sheep
hangs waiting, for an answer
in its echo…