Crystal Creek Meadows Poetry Award

in Crystal Creek Meadows News
Carl Leddy's peom inspires reflection of historic French town

The 2012 Crystal Creek Meadows bush poety award judged at the Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival, has been won by Carl Leddy. Our theme for this years was 'why the past is important to remember'.

Thoughts in Roubaix past by Carl Leddy

and old things challenge the mind in determined, stirring ways;

we drift back in ease and comfort on thought’s infinite and swooping path,

as we view the present state,

of time’s relentless, searching purge of things once new.

 

How many feet trod these worn and ragged cobbles in centuries past?

with special purposes on each and every day,

now flanked sullenly by shuttered doors to sanctuary,

triple locked, with shrill alarms and steel bars,

that repel the casual call;

stern barricades that once were open trusting eyes,

to the soul and life of those who dwelt within these walls.

 

besmirched now smeared with grime and dirt,

layer on layer of countless years;

there is a creeping, haunting chill from old neglect,

and a deadening furtive air,

which binds each building cluster, closer to it’s neighbours,

huddled in a cold protective cell,

within the cloak of mounting, tired regrets and the loss of hope,

for brighter but unknown futures;

they bear enduring marks of violence and civil disrespect,

in every line of crude graffiti.

 

in time,

as the players in our scurried times,

are moved onto and past the edges of history’s crowded board,

their places are assumed by a lesser surge,

who though knowing more seek less of life,

coasting it seems upon the efforts of earlier generations,

not reaching out with boldness,

to carve their initials of achievement on yellowed pages,

but resort instead to shallow daubs to mark their way,

 

and the doors to change which never close,

are questioned now in new and teasing ways,

sparkling with some form of gaiety,

but no stamp of ferocity of principle to swing those bastions wide;

new priorities may flirt with fashion’s fancy form awhile,

but soon turn back seeking reassurance and tepid comfort,

from established ways and settings where the warm embrace of habit,

waits with undemanding loyalty,

and draws us as a bee to honey flowers,

there lies security which appeals to many timid souls as their Valhalla,

reached much sooner than it ought be sought or reached,

but when the crushing impact of the refuse of greyer lives,

is piled high on high it smothers independent thought and action,

is swamped by mediocrity in headlong pursuit of falser goals
and a misplaced belief in the intellectual high ground of equality and social unity,

without recognition of individual skills and needs.

 

Strolling in Roubaix one is tempted to believe,

it was clearly better then in many ways,

back then when buildings built with soul soared toward the sky

and mankind made distinctive marks of indelible, enduring style,

upon the landscapes of the times, which, preserved on history’s pages,

inspire us still.

 

too often now those same illuminating benchmarks are turned aside,

broken, discarded, digested in the mad pursuit of wider roads and freeways,

they to satisfy the growing glut of vehicles,

which each day consume a small slice more of our quality of life,

while the prouder nobler purposes of our past the precincts of warm, contented homes,

are smashed upon these steely altars built for newer gods;

 

what once were cosy corners offering warm comfort in the past,

stand mute now,

in silence and surrender and receive but passive pity,

from those passers by who care to visualize the glory of an earlier age,

these older structures now just remain as crypts of dereliction;

sans purpose,

sans love,

sans life.

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