Gold letters reflect the glow of London’s pink skies,
Dark window panes deepen as another day slowly dies;
Lingering dreams draw me here to this place,
These white walls before me mark their time and their space;
I am a pilgrim, a romantic soul whose light has dimmed,
Looking for myself through inklings of them;
I dare not imagine what stories these simple walls could tell –
Images of Grecian urns and an ancient mariner’s hell;
Like Byron and Keats, I am sentenced to an unattainable quest,
I walk the Heath alone at some long dead poet’s silent request.
Finally I arrive at the remedy of my curse –
Visiting this place my longings bridge with their verse
Slowly past blends with present as zestful passions catch on –
My soul merges with the ghosts of Spaniard’s and I suddenly belong.
– written in 1996 after visiting a pub on Hampstead Heath, just outside London
Cover image courtesy of Jakob Surland.