SCARBOROUGH STEPS by Barrie Purnell


SCARBOROUGH STEPS
She lives beneath the crying sky pressed up against the foam flecked sea.
In a clifftop house, hugged close by rhododendrons, her clock ticks away our time.
She offers you shelter from the approaching storm
Then, when the sun sneaks through the window,
She will walk you through the stained glass dappled hall
To take you on a scenic cliff top ride,
And watch the evening ocean tide,
As she holds you tightly to her side,
While talking of life and suicide
And other truths of which we rarely speak.

 

She takes you to a church, set down a rain veiled cobbled road
In which Rossetti clothed the solemn stones with romantic artistry,
Where she tells you of those Pre-Raphaelites
And of their lovers and their brotherhood.
Then leaving with downward steps onto the shore
She serves you cake and cinnamon tea,
While the gulls shriek out their misery,
And a rainbow surrenders to the sea,                             
While she talks of death and poetry,
And other truths of which we rarely speak.

 

We drove through wooded hills, clad in their autumn leaves
Painted the colour of molten lava by the late October sun.
The tortuous path of the country road hid its ending
Like a metaphor for the enigma of our own lives.
Cocooned inside the car we become philosophical,
Did big bang or God the universe create?
Have we at any time outwitted fate?
Have we souls death will liberate?
Does love all actions validate?
And other truths of which we rarely speak.

 

She is asking me the question, “what is life really for?
When we have no god to satisfy is love the only answer?”
But I can find no words. My lips are sealed
By the poverty of my own wisdom.
There is little time left to answer this question.
We are near the edge, we are in the queue,
There is nothing she or I can do,
But hold on tight and see it through,
Until the end comes into view,
When all the truths we spoke of are revealed.
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2 thoughts on “SCARBOROUGH STEPS by Barrie Purnell

  1. Thanks Barry. I shall see Scarborough in another light after reading these very evocative words. I enjoy reading or listening to your work. You use words like a conjurer uses coloured handkerchiefs.

    David G

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