Romance and Ruin

The Last Romance

High up on a hillside, behind the broken walls of a ruined castle, we watch the glowering clouds catch fire as the sun falls blazing from the sky, a burning death she is doomed to endure for all eternity, like a fiery Sisyphus. The air is on fire for just a few minutes until the sun’s self-immolation is complete and the light succumbs to the shadow’s embrace, yielding the day in a sighing swoon, like an innocent maid in the clutches of a swarthy scoundrel. As the darkling begins, so the whistling, chittering birds fall silent, they roost in the bare trees, as if they were feathered buds awaiting the first light of the sun’s new rise, whereupon they will burst open in victorious song. But first the twilight’s blue velvet to cool the glowing chariot of fire. The remaining hours will grow opaque as the Earth turns slowly upon its axis and the edge of darkness moves eternally towards the west until the cycle is complete and the birds will sing again.

The castle was broken by the storm, falling before the rage of nature and the cannons of the siege. Now we stand where once the great hall rang valiantly with victory songs and echoed to the sound of banquets. The flags and banners, sword and shield, silver flash of armour steel, the stories of the troubadour, the fire and the flaming torch, the whisper of the damsel’s gown dancing across the limestone floor. The age of chivalry, the legends of romance, the idyll of kings. Where once the banners of knights hung proudly, now hang the branches of buddelia and weeds, nature’s own banners growing from the crevices between the broken walls. Here, among these fallen stones, legends live in crepuscular shadows. Isolde’s song of sorrow floats across the deserted court, above the fallen Tristan’s ghost. A potion’s spell, a fatal kiss, lovers under cover of night. Oh, death! Die Liebestod! In the wafting universe, drown and be engulfed!

And so it ends…

We leave the ancient stones behind and walk toward the black lake’s mirror and cross the bridge to another day.

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  1. I daresay Mr. Tremain this is perhaps your best work yet. The alliteration, the ancien references, the Tristan and Isolde epic? Troilus and Cressida, William Walton, Shakespeare, Wagner perhaps even Gilgamesh our epic’s do indeed stretch back to the beginning of our collective memory almost as if vis a vis Jung’s ideological thrust. My god man, you’ve hit a peak experience with this piece Malcom. It is so potent I read it twice, Reflected. Read again. Simultaneously experiencing a wonderful sensation, alas a twinge of melancholia in a screen of overlapping Japanese rice paper scratches/paintings. Oi I know not whence you have come, but surely this is inspired! Expired. First press virgin. So lovely and also so fleeting in a way perhaps none will comprehend, that is the ironic. The satire. So few amongst so many. The rob, the Barabbas chanters, bleating as sheep on some foreign continent craving understanding like the flames of Gehenna. Lost.

    Thank you.


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