The Long Shadow

Screen_shot_2017-12-05_at_08.50.24by Patrick Howse19 Jul 2017

I can remember my grandfather,
An old man running
Then leaping over
A garden wheelbarrow;

But his father is as remote to me
As Alfred or Athelstan,
Just a name whose bones
Nourished an unknown tree.

They came from deep
Generations, rooted forever
In a place older than England;
Yet strange undirected currents

Carried them through
Glories and shames
To a mastery
Of a hundred peoples.

I cannot rest in this land betrayed:
Darker earth awaits me
Over an unquiet sea,
In the shadow of mountains.