A treasure found between
promise and memory,
a bracketed beauty, the searched-for house
revealed itself – pretty, gabled, white,
a farmhouse once, perhaps no longer –
perched above clean-swept yard,
a low wall setting the house apart
All I knew was of a man who lived here once,
nearly two hundred years ago;
his son, who left, but in the end
came home to die.
Then and now, sheltering trees behind,
light screen of more across the road. Beyond,
gentle mile upon mile of wooded valley,
gold hills, blue hills, undulating
into far distance.
On the way,
by the winding road, a woman
had come to her gate, directing me
with the zest and drama of someone
sociable, living in isolation, for whom
a stranger’s query was a happening.
The house began to live.
And after, remembering it, remembering
the beauty of those great benign
solitudes, filtered through drooping boughs,
I felt the discovery of this place was not
simply enclosed by the journey there
and then the thinking back, but mingled
with all of that, in a blurring of time
and feeling – joined with more, too.
There seemed no gulf
between the falling in love, so suddenly,
with this discovered place, and any human love;
for each embraced the other, each was now
more deeply felt for this conjunction.
Into the same
mystery, their roads ran on.
Sometimes Ruth Bidgood’s poems present life’s ‘treasure found’ in the most exquisitely tender way. Tonight I (and perhaps you?) shall doubtless ponder what changes might be brought to bear in any person’s life when and if they’re able to look at anything, anywhere, with such an acute and loving eye. What sight of treasures – pretty, gabled, undulating, winding, directing, filtered, discovered, embracing – might touch us, and change us, for the better, forever?