Ancient Longing


These ancient walls are vast, heraldic
creatures watch o’er me and yet
alone within one room I brood
solitary, dreaming of an age
lost to me

These steps are steeped in blood and time
The mischief of an age gone by
I was born too late for my soul
I am a creature of contradictions
Small within a vastness, yet
through brick and mortar I can find
a mimicry of the macrocosm
here in my tiny room

In some other life I am sure I walked these halls
Stately and acute, I watched the swift
and subtle movements of the court politic,
rich and sharp, a rapier of words,
and found in jest and intrigue
some semblance of bravery and chance

I look out across the empty courtyard
remembering in my imagination life and death
lived and lost before the frightened, excited
eyes of the court
Perhaps the axe falling on the lost or
the bustle of market and produce
beckoning life,
all combined like a pageantry
to the futility of ambition and power

Now in a modern age the light of ages
is both dulled and jarred by electricity
and still the cold is not a stranger
nor forbidden from these walls
It is as though the very foundations
ache as I do, for some past
which whenย lived was terrible
but in its memory lingers still;
a dream within a nightmare
within a dream

Take me back in my little room, let me
travel across time to the place where
these walls best belonged for there
in the darkness of the past
my soul may find true home and finally sleep.

(c) Helen Valentina 2013 All Rights Reserved

Inspired by the wonderful picture above whichย Ajaytao2010ย kindly allowed me to reproduce with a poem I wrote, inspired by it. See more of Ajaytao’s wonderful imagery at

About Helen

I'm drawn to blogging as a way to share ideas and consider what makes us who we are. Whether it's in our working life or our creativity, expression is a means to connect.
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15 Responses to Ancient Longing

  1. Solothefirst says:

    Hi there. I have nominated you for the Always there if you need me award. This is a no pressure award I just wanted you know that your blog inspires me

  2. Brian Hughes says:

    I’m descended from the Stanleys, Earls of Derby, whose ancestral seat is Lancaster Castle. Which, as it happens, is just up the road from me. Not that I’d want to live there. They turned it into a prison years ago.

  3. I have a castle fetish……shhhhhh don’t tell anyone. ๐Ÿ™‚ Loved this and the picture!!

  4. Excellent writing my dear Sis xxxx

  5. Office Diva says:

    It sounds like you miss the medieval era the way that I do. Sigh. Oh, I know it was a hard life, but so much simpler in many ways, don’t you think? I lived in Ireland, the last time! I love Ireland and Scotland so much because of that. Love the castle, love the prose. Very nice!

  6. “I was born too late for my soul” loved this line, absolutely gorgeous Helen =)

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