Monday, June 06, 2011

Gray Majesty

Sunset at Eagle River, MI

Nothing built by man will last forever. I have heard that phrase and with the possible exception of the Twinky, I agree. We are temporary residents in and on our world. In the long view, most of what we have built has been completed in a tiny fraction of the time our world has existed, and much of what we have built has become ruins, either by our own actions or the great relentless recycler: time. Yet, we expend extreme amounts of resources to build monuments to ourselves and our ideals.

The ruins of some of our strongest ancient redoubts, castles and towers built of huge blocks of stone, are now tourist attractions. Pyramids and temples slowly erode and will eventually become one with the soil on which they stand. Yet, compared to the span of our lives, they seem almost timeless and permanent. As living humans, we are ephemeral creations of the living God, our candles briefly burning to hold back the night. Little wonder we seek immortality in metal and stone. Once our soul has moved on, the ruins of our lives may endure a little longer, mute testimony to our ideas and ideals, pride and prejudices, values and vanity -- standing against the ravages of time with gray majesty.


Gray Majesty

Silent it stands at the edge of the sea,
Poised on a jut just above a sea cliff.
Once a great tower, providing a lee,
For sentries whose bones in the wind grew stiff.
Built from the limestone, the bones of that land,
Stoic, it stood there for two centuries.
Though weathered it endured and looking grand,
Survived until war brought it to its knees.
Explosives and bombs weakened its great wall,
And beaten by wartime technology,
Its wondrous battlements began to fall,
Collapsing inward almost silently.
Though time takes a toll so relentlessly,
The ruins stand firm with gray majesty.

Mick McKellar
June 2011

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