What Were They Like?

1) Did the people of  Albion hold ceremonies to reverence the opening of buds?
2) Did they honour the written word or tell stories when darkness fell?
3) Did they shake hands and kiss in greeting?
4) Were they inclined to quiet welcome and fellowship?
5) Were their temples made of stone?
6) Did they cherish all, equally, or did rank hold sway?
7) Did they use paper to carry their dreams?
8) Did they have the use of the wheel?
9) Were they people of the land, with dirt on boot or hand?


1) Long ago they exchanged sweetmeats and feasted to excess. Now they cultivate
 their gardens and remember and are healed.
2) In darkened rooms, illuminated by blue tinged light, they drifted in stories 
of pictures and words. The stories helped them to forget, help them to remember.
3) Once, yes. Now, they do not touch, except in vibration carried on the wind. They
 kiss only the mask they wear.
4) They were an exuberant race, of bluster and boastfulness, long ago. Now they take
 refuge in quiet connectivity and contemplation.
5) The temples were of brick and glass and plastic to pacify powerful gods. Worship
 was done two metres apart. Chevrons pointed to the altars. Why? We no longer know.
6) Madam, it is not known. A fragment discovered suggests they were lost in a dream of 
trust. Their Leaders fell prey to greed and vanity. Many died alone, of all ranks.
7) Paper was venerated and coveted in equal measure. Even those without it survived. 
Frantic  accumulation could not save all.
8) When the fall came, they travelled but once a day and returned to walking, as a 
memorial. Who can say? The car parks are empty now.

The Old Grey Owl

(with apologies to Denise Levertov)