I. C13

A peninsular posturing as an island
downstream and on the opposite bank
from God’s eyes in Tintern. Accessed
only via the landward hillside,
protected by screens of woodland,
Wyndcliff overlooking like a fortress.

And at the locus of the scene
stands the infirmary, or perhaps history
has shielded here a leper colony
(who can tell? who is close enough?),
the garden embedded with remedies.
Seclusion; isolation.

II. 2020

Isolation; seclusion.
Here at the border, where the saline river arcs
and farmland runs out into woodland,
Wyndcliff rises opposite like viewpoint
or lookout, its ramparts topped
with roadblocks and lockdowns.

Beside the ruined church on the English bank
of the Wye I wash my hands in the river
for 20 seconds, and kneel and offer
the only question that matters from this position:
what will it take to hold you
and to touch again across borders?