Picture from Bob Williams, Arx Cynuit
They congregated up in the hills, far away from judging eyes. This would be the last time that any of these people would see these Northern barbarians. Fight or die Cobanorum had said and they would follow this exhortation to the end. Far below they could see the torches zigzagging up the heather-clad slope. The Norsemen had beached their boats at sunset and after making their usual offerings to their ineffective Gods had decided the auspices were right for an assault on the lonely village.
Toothless old men, young boys, women with babies at the breast, young girl, all were assembled at the call to repel this parasitic invader. Those who would take their women and children, mock their Christ, their priests, and without compassion, maim, disfigure and take the life of their brave fighting men.
Their weapons were the tools of the field but they had one advantage, they were fighting for their lives, their homes, all that was held dear. Death had no meaning, for life would never be the same if they were defeated. In their favour was the gift nature had bestowed upon them, the sheer sea cliff, the stone, turf-clad walls, built to protect them from this predicted onslaught. All they had to rely on was the knowledge and belief that their courage would be as strong as the mighty earthen banks built over time with the strength of theirs and their ancestor’s own arms.
The result of their struggle is well known and I am happy to tell you of their victory. Thus was the legend born we know as the battle of Arx Cynuit, the last attempt by the accursed Danes to subdue this island race.
the lofty, granite spires rise
remaining just a shadow
of the splendour that awaits.
“At the Window” – Juliana Kolesova
Bereft of habit,
the tonsured friar gazes.
Their gaze uplifted
eyes, ears and hearts opened,
smiling in their joy.
His message of peace and love,
a lesson for all nations.
Rather eerie but this his tale for today.
British Summer Time, the evenings are lighter and the weather is colder. How apt. I love the lighter evenings as after work it’s possible to get out into the countryside, weather permitting, and do all the things you have been sitting in the lounge vowing you would do as soon as it was light enough after the day’s work is done. Today was such, my first foray out to try and capture a church spire in the evening gold. Sadly the church itself was closed but that is just a sad reflection of the times in which we live. Still, if you are looking for a little quiet contemplation and a moment away from traffic, hustle and bustle, a churchyard serves it’s purpose well. The church in question is in a little village called Wilby on the outskirts of Wellingborough and I was attracted to it’s spire with it’s magnificent ornate buttresses way up in the sky. Sources tell me that this church dedicated to St. Mary dates from the thirteenth century but was extensively rebuilt in 1879. The unique spire was built during the Decorated period and shows many features pleasing to the enthusiast.
One noticeable thing about this evening was the sighting of a bright, white grave marker close to the path leading to the porch. It is an official war-grave, probably the only one I have ever seen in all my years. It commemorates the death of a RAF pilot who died at the age of 22. Curiously it was dated on my birthday, but in 1944. So much has been said about their sacrifice but seeing a single marker like this lends a stark reality to the horror of war.
her by the hand
he led her into the stream,
the crowd began to chant the psalms.
Before the altar,
the couple will say, “I do.”
a vow before God
A time of despair
lay cold breath upon the land.
While Lord King Arthur
retired within his chamber,
sat alone, in cuckold’s grief.
could he gain, from grieving wife,
or courtly knights,
till from the high battlements
joyful cries when far below
knelt his once favourite knight
who, though hermit now
pledged his service and his sword
to the man whom once he wronged.
Thus was pestilence once more,
purged from proud, fair Albion.
We dismounted. Staring in awe at the scene before us we knelt down and gave thanks to the Lord. Our quest had not been in vain. Our beloved Emperor Hadrian would reward us well for had we not found the place they must surely have called Golgotha.
We entered and searched diligently but there was nothing to suggest that the sect known as Christians had interfered with it in any way. It was empty, the mud floor overgrown with brush. It had probably been ransacked many decades previously but we could not afford to take any chances.
We would find lodgings in the village and leave a sentry here while we sent dispatches to Rome. Nothing was to be disturbed on pain of death. All we could do now was wait until we learnt our beloved Emperor’s wishes for this place that seemed to hold so much significance for the followers of this so-called Messiah.
On our first attempt
to justify existence
he was not convinced.
The creator of all things
chose to become destroyer.