Rain and Ruins and Reigning (by )

Found Poems of the Concrete - The Priory

The city landscape is multifaceted and layered, within this city, the one I chose as home - there is industrial wealth rotting from the victorian glory and areas of decay a few decades in the making - fixed with memories and longings and a hope that transcends it all making it ripe for a rebirth - Tudor houses stand in grandeur around 1920's colour and glaze - we choose which story to tell - there are new glass and glitz buildings calling to the business minds and all of it is beautiful overlapped and intwined.

There are the very rocks beneath - housing stories far older than this city - than this kingdom - than this land itself - within the rocks - stories telling of different landscapes. And then there is the religious blanket that settles on this region and gave it life and industry in the middle England of old. There is the Priory and the tales that it's remains have to tell.

St Oswald's.

The ruins of St Oswalds Priory

Golden stone arches whispering of times long forgotten and a majesty of realms, calling for exploration but first there is the semi silhouette of something more modern and yet still older than many countries can claim - a building that stands sentinel as if guarding the religiocity of the region - though weather it practices the same as the foundations as they would suggest it was something else. An evolution of Faith? A changing and growing with the times and peoples and rotation of the Earth around the Sun. It is none the less a church and is full of the patience of ages with a name of mother and of guardianship St Mary's.

St Mary's Gloucester (I think)

The sky is a leadened dead weight that sucks the colour and definition from this built and ancient landscape, ice waters threaten but there is no storm in the roll and twist of those clouds - though there is a strange glare of light that hurts the eyes if focus is attempted. The clouds seem to phase out through the stone windows as if this world and that observed world are not quiet in alinement reminding you of tricks for meditation of doors to December and cats eating themselves and strange impossibilities that contort the mind until they do indeed become possible and you think of travel between such worlds and laugh at the riduclious idea and move on.

Looking through the window St Oswalds Priory

Or rather back, stepping further and further away from the stones and the window so that more of the decaying structure is visible as for a moment it was as if the halls had become whole once more and the collapse of centuries had fallen away. The wind whispers songs that bounce of the stones and get lost in the cracks and weathering. Little ideas are hiding in the chinks - maybe one day they will be found and listened too but not this day because you are too caught up in the stone work itself, and how it forms around the windows, and how the windows are indeed more of an absence of a thing than the thing itself.

Remnants of rooms Gloucester History

And they mark that this was once a room, once a living breathing space, where people where and thought and become nothing but bones and memories and shadows and shades that may still lurk in the cracks and dips of this ruin. Little fragments of the before can be found when you look hard enough - and up close to these old old stones that sing of the multifarious lives that they have lived, hallowed halls of Warrior Queens and monks sending the hopes of a people to the sky god and always the gentle hum of the city around you to remind you of the place in time that these relics now inhabit. Not everything is stone, more perishable things hide in plan sight.

Wood in stone St Oswalds Priory Gloucester

Time seemingly flows around this place, condensing and stretching at odd intervals and you stand in the middle observing yet another window and imagining the glory of the ground it would have stared out upon and the tapestries and drapes and trappings of various ages seem to drift across your sight, a reminder of harsh climates and cold stone walls - churning memories of the places you have lived before of brick and stone and wood and block and how each of these domiciles felt. Of those that leached heat and those that retained it. Even the canvas you slept under in the garden as a child, a surplus of the second world war so heavy and thick, or thin metal that shifts and quakes in the driving rain so loud it becomes the mind. People have been living their lives for a long time in many ways and at many levels of comfort, but these halls would unlikely have allowed you to become old. The thought is a shudder of sensation as if ice has been packed into your bones and is still expanding pushing out the marrow and splitting the core of you.

Structures in Stone St Oswalds Priory

And though you can feel the tragedies of the human condition piling up through the fabric of histories you feel the tug and the pull to investigate further - to fall down the rabbit whole of archaic intrigue and to explore these words that are at once the same as our own and so completely alien that they burn the minds eye if left unfiltered. Blood or no blood, and the mer slight possibility of holy relics - of a person fragmented and normally falsified - can do little to damp your curiosity and besides someone told you it was built wrong to house such things - there is an elegance here that draws you ever onward into it.

Clouds Through Stone Gloucester History

A storm churns reminding you of legends older than the building though not older than the cut blocks that make it up and certainly not older than the stone that was quarried from dead seas that hide in Cotswold Hills. But still the cycle of stories push at you, as if trying to summon thick mists like dragons breath to hide the roads and red bricked buildings that surround.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales