Shakespeare's Flowers

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.

 

Shakespeare's Flowers

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.

 

Chris Hubbard

2019

◄ River Bells Ringing

Sunrise Sea ►

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