In Ruins – Patrick Baxter

A response to the poem Abbey Stones by Emma Donohoe

Abbey Stones by Emma Donohoe

Arches bow low to the leafy branches,
Veiling the limestone from the world.
Perfume fills the summer breezes,
Up past the bell cot and clouded ceiling.

Waters whisper a flow of conversation,
Held with the echo of our ancestors.
The stones are steeped in the past,
Calling to us, to our senses of discovery.

To the western gable, ivy clings,
Hiding the shadow scars of burning.
Rising from the ashes, the stone stood anew,
Till its own-blood chieftain tore it down.

The gate creaks in the summer’s exhale,
Metal bars closed by the Anglican Virgin.
Orders that beckoned the building’s demise,
Into crumbling rock and resting souls.

Grave stones lie like pendants,
In velvet casings of cushioned grass.
Crosses cast shade on my footsteps,
Prints in the paths grassed over.

I sit by the bridge, centuries away,
As it comes to life once more.
Memories encased in sunshine,
Bright as the harbour blooms.

Light is now slipping below the tree tops,
Beyond my reach and sight.
A powerful spirit remains here still,
Within the Abbey Stones.