>On Higher Hill: A Poem by Pete Marshall


On Higher Hill
A Poem by Pete Marshall
The castle walls lay quiet now
yet high above the rooks still fly
the siege has left in gentle style
and moved beyond the petting farm

The rations came on tartan cloth
and shots were made by touch screen phone
the soldiers fled across the hills
dressed as cubs in summer sun

And walls that once looked out to sea
that saw the ships and pirates flee
stand sad and torn as moss sets in
awaiting flames to welcome thee

The ramparts lay in crumpled heaps
as knights now storm with digicams
and helmets hide their watchful eyes
as I-pods play a wicked sound

And far below before the flats
where tides drift in from Northern seas
the roar of trains that clatter past
on trips to see the English Queen

And blessed with tales from far a field
these walls remain a special place
that stand today as once was then
upon a canvas where they graced
Standing on the mouth of the River Thames, the above picture of Hadleigh Castle was painted  by the great English artist, John Constable, in 1829. Today, not much has changed. In two years time the location surrounding the ruins of this wonderful place will form the setting for the Mountain Bike events during the Olympic Games 2012. 


This is my poem for One Shot Wednesday, run by One Stop Poetry, a fast growing community for poets & writers of all genres to share their work, express and make friends


59 Responses to “>On Higher Hill: A Poem by Pete Marshall”

  1. >I love it Pete… I thoroughly enjoyed this read. Great One Shot! Love and Light, Sender

  2. >nice read pete…the hordes are invading with their digicams…i wonder if the walls moan at the indiginity…where is a good barbarian horde when you need one. smiles. happy one shot!

  3. >This was so full of imagery, and the links to the present were wonderful.

  4. >The imagery and the time element creates a great piece, Pete. "The ramparts lay in crumpled heapsas knights now storm with digicamsand helmets hide their watchful eyesas I-pods play a wicked sound" Cool lines.

  5. >Love the imagery – sadly those people aren't using their senses to take in the raw beauty or to hear the voices from ages past they are letting their digicams do the work,Delightful Shot my friend – thanks for being in this with usMoon smiles

  6. >OH i love this… it brings back memories of history and my own as a student of the amazing English literture…hummmm;)dulce

  7. >I loved the reference to today's technology. great visuals…very nice 🙂

  8. >Your words bring forth beautiful imagery. Nice pic too.

  9. >Pete, this is so wonderful. I could picture all of this…….

  10. >A wonderful juxtaposition of old and new; the tragedy of history lost. Excellent craft on display in this poem, Mr. Marshall has the touch.

  11. >Your imagery is exquisite Brian and yes i also had deja vu British history lesson from it. Beautiful oneshot my friend!

  12. >lovely rememberence of a time of knights and priates…the smell and the sounds – that reside in those castle walls…bkm

  13. >Lovely. I enjoyed it.

  14. >Loved the flow,imagery, and story, great read.

  15. >Nice creation of place and mood. Well done. – Bill

  16. >I love the history bumping into today. You have such a gift for flow, Pete. A pure pleasure to read.

  17. >As an ancient history person,this poem rang my bells,love your images..too beautiful Pete! brilliant one shot buddy..:)

  18. >Yeah Pete you sure nailed this one.I'm a history type of guy anyway.Great Job….G

  19. >It's a beautiful place poem, Pete. I can feel the history oozing out if it and yet — even without the picture, I know it's a ruin.

  20. >Time in a bottle; a place in a poem; an instant in a photo. When the pristine beauty of nature gives us such peace and pleasure, the thought of its being trampled and destroyed breaks our hearts and yet as you so poignantly do in this work is regard it as another piece of history's puzzle. When the Olympics come, it will again change. I love your words and the way you put them together. You know that. Thank you for sharing them with me. Your work continues to illuminate and instruct me.Thank you, Gay

  21. >I love this poem, Pete. It reminds me so much of all the school visits to Hastings Castle I took with my class each year. You have captured the atmosphere of the ancient castle so well. Christine

  22. >I can clearly envision this old castle. I loved the i-Pod juxtaposition!And I thought I saw a golden dragon flying in the distance.

  23. >it formed a picture in my mind.. a lovely poem Pete 🙂 lovely imagery for certain!My One Shot

  24. >beautiful pete…i always love to visit old castles which lie in ruins now – and stand there and imagine how life was when they were build – like you describe it so vividly – the horses – the knights – the stories – the tragedies…and it feels like bathing in the past and hear the rattling of hooves and the laughter of children playing hide and seek…and…here's where i stop to leave some room for others to comment and don't use all space on my own…smileshave a great day!

  25. >I like the way you mixed the old with the new, although I was clueless to some parts. Thanks for explaining…nice

  26. >I love the old world feel of the poem with dashes of the future thrown in. Very interesting.

  27. >Beautiful! A sensory delight, with a delightful play of time as well. Some cool lines in here, and it all makes the history buff inside buzz rather happily.Great One Shot!

  28. >hi sender…thanks for your comments..glad you liked itcheers bri…i think i agree with there about the walls moaning with indignity..cheer petethanks anthony..it was important..the castle dates back to, i believe the 1200's but it has a place in tomorrows history too..what with the olympic gamescheers Pete

  29. >hi adam..thanks for that..cool lines i like..speaks to the youth in me..hahacheers moonie..i so think you are right..you can be so stuck behind the lens that you miss the surroundings..cheers pete

  30. >hi dulce..if you ever want to talk english literature with me then by all means do..great comment cheers petethanks caty..today was important as it still remains and is looking towards a new future

  31. >hi kb..thanks thats a wonderful commentthankyou neva…i hope the image was as wonderful as the placesteven m grant…i like that Mr Marshall has the touch..and thanks for a great comment..cheers pete

  32. >thanks wildrose..although bri i am sure would have put a different twist on this LOLthanks bkm…glad you liked and felt it…hey lordy..always a pleasure to see you..glad you loved it..cheers pete

  33. >thanks suzie…appreciate your commenthi bill..thanks for that..cheers petethanks talon..that was a great comment..really appreciate thatcheers pete

  34. >thanks desert rose…loved that comment..cheers petecheers g-man..you can talk history anytime you want…this place has also been mentioned by bernard cornwell countless times in his novels

  35. >hi glynn..thanks…surprisingly as a historical monument its probably more famous because of constable than itself..such is life eh!thanks beachanny..i know that indeed but it still doesnt stop me from loving your comments..cheers pete

  36. >hi glynn..thanks…surprisingly as a historical monument its probably more famous because of constable than itself..such is life eh!thanks beachanny..i know that indeed but it still doesnt stop me from loving your comments..cheers pete

  37. >hi christine..have been to hastings castle!! thanks for that memory for me too..cheers petehi eric..yeah i liked the i-pod bit too..cheers petethanks leo…i was going to out up a current photo of the place alongside the painting but then i thought i would leave it to the readers imagination..cheers pete

  38. >wow claudia…that grabbed you..well pleased..cheers petehi jh..agree which is why i threw in the explanation..the flames referred to the olympic torchthanks nessa…the mix of old, current and future was so needed for this piece..cheers pete

  39. >thanks mama..and good to see you herecheers chris…another history buff eh..love the stuff..i think thats why i sneak so much reference in to it in so many of my poems

  40. >thanks mama..and good to see you herecheers chris…another history buff eh..love the stuff..i think thats why i sneak so much reference in to it in so many of my poems

  41. >I enjoyed the read! Thanks.

  42. >this is stunning… i hope you'll join me for imperfect prose on thursdays, pete. peace to you. e.

  43. >You paint such great historical pictures with present-day technology trying to crash the scenic party. Always love thetone of your work! Heartspell

  44. >Even with a LOT changed, nothing much has changed reallyElectronics, yes.. but mindsets and thinking, hardly! :)LOVED how you've highlighted the contrasts in your poem, Pete…You are awesome!

  45. >thanks annell for stopping by and commentinghi emily..really appreciate that. wish you well with the imperfect prose and if i get a chance i will pop by..cheers petehi heartspell and many thanks for thatcheers kavionz…like awesome..sits well haha

  46. >Perfect portrayal of the trends of modern times .. as perieved by the marks of old times ! good one 🙂

  47. >Hey Pete, I adore your vivid imagery. Particularly the rations in the tartan vs the touch screen.Good job! As they say round here, nice one shot!V

  48. >I love how the images of past and present come together and create a sense of immediacy…of not just the present, but of the here and now. I ache to visit…and, yes, peas do rattle ; )I love being part of this community!such an honour!Annie

  49. >thanks my lady…perfect is a nice word when commenting..cheers petehi vita..the enjoyment of this piece was mixing the old with the new..thankshi annie..thanks for your comment…but only dried peas and i cant imagine that being you..cheers pete

  50. >Oh Pete, you took me back to my beloved England and using one of Constable's luscious-sky paintings of castle too. This was such a clever connection of medieval history to the electronic cyberspace of today – I think you captured in words how I often felt when I visited ruins, castles, abbeys and such. The sense of that battle fought three or six or eight hundred years ago still hangs in the air and fills the stones that crumble out of old walls. And we can touch the walls and almost hear the cries and thundering hooves and clanking swords and smell the boiling tar.Once it was romans or danes that breeched the keep, today it is Americans, Europeans or Japanese – once it was swords and lances, today it is videocameras and tripods. You did a great job on this. Well Done!

  51. >Ah, how I wish I could see that casttle with my own eyes!It is beautiful, both, the picture and the poem ;)Thank you very much for reading!

  52. >it seems a shame when we dream to view something through ancient eyes, only to have olden images desicrated by modernity with such force. Cannot turn back the clock it would seem. Nice mixing of moments. Happy One Shot

  53. >hi brokenpenwriter…wow i loved your comment…thankyou for taking the time…it is a shame isnt it..but at the same time its peoples interest in the past that keeps these places alive…hi Lu ann…thanks for reading cheers kkridge…always a pleasure to have you vist

  54. >I loved this poem. You took a quiet and peaceful site and modernized it. The imagery was fantastic and once again I am impressed.

  55. >hi cor and thanks…it nice to hear my work has impressed..gives me confidence to write more..cheers pete

  56. >I like the mix of bygone eras with our modern one! Very imaginative, yet so concrete. And thanks for posting my link at One Stop Poetry. I appreciate it!You too are welcome to get aboard the Poetry Train every Monday mornings!

  57. >thanks jingle & guatami…i enjoyed writing this poem so glad it was liked..cheers pete

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