its stone stippled with lichen,
mottled with moss as verdant
as the ancient forests of the crown,
this palace wall has borne witness
to the rise of kings, the trials and downfall
of chancellors and chamberlains.
its long, winding down days
have seen such splendour,
its nights passion as unbridled
as a waterfall swollen by rain.
its patient bricks stood mute
through betrothals and betrayals,
while the mistresses machinated
to evade the tower, helpless
to the whims of majesty,
as stags to the huntsman’s bow,
all at the mercy of a serial infatuate.
garlanded with ivy, wreathed in
the white bells of hedge bindweed,
an onlooker as the tourists pour in,
armed not with sword and shield
but with selfie sticks and curiosity.
and wait, those days have come again.
film crews white balance
for the mulled-wine draperies,
the rich tapestried interiors.
costumed actors vape and gossip,
empty vessels making noise,
heads glued to phones, they lean
against the wall, waiting to communicate,
to recreate, its glorious tudor past.
Picture of wall at walled garden, Kylemore Abbey by Belinda Latchford.