They sail, a slow journey from glory to despair,
above them, vacant-eyed heads grin
in recognition of what was and what shall be–memories
carried as if by magic through the green English fields
where the ghosts wander,
waiting for history to be rewritten in each new reign–
queen to traitor, rebel to hero, recusant to saint.
This is a poem for Sarah’s dVerse prompt. She asks us to choose a set of three words from a list that she has posted. The words correspond to a site in London. I chose “field memory magic,” which if I understand correctly corresponds to the Traitors’ Gate at the Tower of London. The three words are part of larger project, which you can read about on the dVerse page.
Oh, Merril, this is so good. You’ve used the words so well, and I sense the despair and fear. It’s such a good piece.
Thank you so much, Sarah! Traitors’ Gate brings vivid images to my mind, and I guess I’ve read enough history to image the journey there.
Great feeling of history here; what on earth must it have been like to see heads of traitors staring down at you knowing that your own head would soon join them!
Thank you. It must have been awful. I can’t even imagine.
This is incredibly mesmerizing, Merril! I love; “memories carried as if by magic through the green English fields.” 💝💝
Thank you so much!
I like the metamorphoses that weave through your poem.
I like that you made it a period piece as it relates to the Tower of London😊.
Thank you, Pat! 😀
I wonder what it would be like to routinely see beheaded heads. Then how about being one? Yes, your poem made this question vivid.
Thank you very much!
I suppose there was a lot of casual brutality that people saw then–bear baiting and such. But to know you were going to your own execution–I can’t imagine what that was like.
Nicely done, Merril! Boy, your professors must have loved you!
Thank you, Jill, and that’s very kind.
No, I don’t think my professors loved me. But maybe if I had written poetry. 😏
I read this as a metaphor for the demonizing of whatever group was in power before being replaced or deposed.
Thank you, Liz. That’s the fun thing about poetry–so many different way to read it!
You’re welcome, Merril. It’s also fun trying to compare my read of the poem with the poet’s intent. Or should I say, my perception of the poet’s intent. 😉
Hahaha. Yes. 😏
I read the directions to this prompt, scratched my head and decided nope, gonna leave it to the pros like Merril who will do a magnificent job! And I was right. Wonderful.
Aww–thank you! I appreciate that!
But this wasn’t a difficult prompt at all–just write a poem using three words. 😀
I guess I read too much into it
Very well written. Wow, I’m in awe. I really loved this:
“carried as if by magic through the green English fields
where the ghosts wander”
Speechless by your imagery, quite frankly. This is such a ride and it’s beautifully expressed in your incredible words. I love this piece.
Wow! Thank you so much for your lovely words and thoughtful reading. I really appreciate it, Lucy!
Perfectly pitched for the place, and seamless. Great poem!
Thank you very much! 😀
You’ve really captured the essence of the precariousness of power throughout history here: ‘a slow journey from glory to despair’ such a powerful message conveyed perfectly in the closing lines – I love it!
Thank you very much, Ingrid! I’m happy you enjoyed it so much.
I love the way you took the three words and evoked such a terrifying scene, Merril! It would have been a slow journey as Traitor’s gate could only be approached by river, and your opening lines convey the approach so well, ‘from glory to despair’. I love the list of three in the final line.
Thank you very much, Kim. I’m so pleased you liked it and felt all that emotion.
A superb example. Unusually I went straight to the poem without looking at photo or title and immediately recognised the subject.
Thank you very much, Derrick. I’m so pleased I was able to capture it in words (from someone who lives across the sea).
You really know how to make history present. Wonderful. (K)
Thank you so much!
A well-written tale of Traitor’s Gate!
Thank you so much!
Given how many that has been executed in a place like that it’s fearsome, and going from hero to traitor can go quickly (or wife in the case of Anne Boleyn)
Yes, exactly. Thank you!
Ahh, deep and Beautifully written
Thanks so much, Jude!
My pleasure 🌼
This seems to tap into your love for poems and history. 🙂
Thanks, Frank. 😀