Tag Archives: ornaments

Armoured Knight

Armoured Knight

Armoured Knight stands guard on my sitting room shelf.
His post was once on my bedroom window sill.
He is part of my past.
An ornament I bought in a gift shop in Woolacombe
on the North Devon coast.
Souvenir of a summer.
1970. I was eighteen. Worked in a hotel kitchen,
my brain blown open by ocean,
I pined to find words for what I could hear in sea gull cries,
far and high in the sky,
yearned to see white sailed boats voyage out from coves
to Atlantis.
Photographs of sunsets never developed well.
My camera could not capture
the hues of heaven I saw on the western horizon.
Armoured Knight I brought home in my haversack.
2017. Sixty five now.
Years ago, I somehow managed to break his lance.
Now his right hand grips only air.
Once I had to glue him back on his black plastic stand.
But why now the mention?
Recently, late one evening, I turned my CD player on,
leaned back in my arm chair.
My body light, forgotten, I attended to song,
became just an eye,
my spirit clasped by the top joint in the stalk of my spine,
aware only of words and notes in the air,
my gaze came to settle on Armoured Knight,
stood guard in his place on my sitting room shelf.
His helmeted head suddenly moulded into a mask.
The mask melted to reveal a bare face,
that of a man, a captain of soldiers.
He stared at the ground. His face pale, bony, stern.
His thought on battlefields behind him,
wars he had witnessed, weapons used by men,
from bow and arrow, sword and spear,
rifle and cannon to machine gun and tank.
He grew more macabre than a ghost,
a foul portent, ill omen,
till he could be given no other name than Death.
There he stood, Death himself.
Cold, battle boned, sword sharp, hard.
The spell broken, the vision vanished.
Armoured Knight restored himself.
An ornament. Nothing more.

Set of Ornaments

Set of Ornaments

Windmill on the window sill,
there still, the old ornament,
the size of my thumb,
its colour not definite,
say brass yellow gold,
been in the house since childhood,
much older than I am,
will survive me beyond the final chill to come.
Remove the cross that serves as it sails
from its pin, it looks like a lighthouse,
suitable to stand on a rock on the coast.
With two candlesticks and a bottle opener,
it forms a nice set.
Mother and father bought them somewhere.
Maybe they once mentioned the shop
but, of course, I forget.
The twisty stem candlesticks too good to hold candles,
the bottle opener in the shape of a bare woman,
her head tilted to one side, her hands held high,
in a crucified pose, to form a capital letter Y
with a straight stalk, too good to remove bottle tops
from bottles, so I was told.
Such things deserve a few lines,
for the memories they hold.

From a consideration of a set of ornaments, I branch out,
feel the release, to see me in a brown tub boat,
call it a coracle, drawing back two oars, away from all shores,
my decided direction is west, to where the sun sinks has ever seemed best,
my awakened spirit gives strength to my arms and hands,
smiling brightly, eager to sing, laugh, I acknowledge,
always it was a solo voyage, a lone trek,
a solitary song, facing that makes you strong.