As I breathe in the wild garlic woods I resurrect a memory. In bursts of fiery vision Both eyes and nostrils Recall the path Descending without haste From cornfield to woodland dell To fern and rill Beneath the high arches Of the viaduct Soft tread over the bracken-strewn turf Beside the bubbling beck To meet the waiting waves On that bleached beach Promising not only present joy But with purpose Though without foreknowledge Building a cornerstone Of my being Nature’s Marble Halls Erected to sustain life To ensure that richness of experience This continuity of pleasure Which brings meaning now When I had thought Only the memory remained
Stable door at Barrington Court, Somerset, England … Pen and Wash by WHB
THE STABLE DOOR
Red bricked arch Red rose adorned Frames the entrance Bringing enchantment To meet history In this secluded pile
Once-stabled steeds Whinny in wonder From their equine tombs And boast of times when Bridle bit and brace Had cause to adorn These ancient crumbling Cobwebbed stalls
Long left to nature And to fate But now in trust To a Nation which remembers And celebrates Its history
The painting above and the theme of the poem follow from a visit of mine to Barrington Court, a Tudor manor house, begun around 1538 and completed in the late 1550s, with a vernacular stable court. The house and grounds are situated in Barrington, near Ilminster, Somerset, England, and are now the property of the National Trust.