I wrote this piece a couple of years ago while living near Stratford. On visiting the town I was surprised by the crass commercialism that had seeped in since my previous visit. I imagined the town as it might have been in the Bard's time - possibly just as busy with life and living as now! This tale is of course mere idle speculation.
In Stratford-upon-Avon, by a river borne
towards the theatre of her fading world,
a lady gently places flowers furled
within a cone of ancient newsprint, torn
from archival sleep, headlined 'Superb
Performance'. She smiles within her memories,
is swept in triumph to panoplies,
to paeons of praise. The merest echoes serve
to winnow seed from the oldest husk
of a love still shining in the evening bright.
The Holy Trinity guards her mentor, at rest in light
that soon will surely call her to the gathering dusk.
The Bard lies before her in his stoney heaven,
sparks yet his vivid Elizabethan tongue;
plumbing the deep arcana of humanity wrung
from seas of wisdom, continents of reason.
Scenes swirl in random disarray; princes
and kings, fools and lovers, witches: all parade
through her tired, loving mind. Shakespeare's flowers fade
on their stone as a peacock's piercing call evinces
little but a final curtain-call.