This first poem is dedicated in fond memory of Reg Kear of Mornington, Victoria, Australia. Reg was a St. Paul’s boy who served many years at sea before emigrating. Reg ‘turned to’ to help fund our Memorial on Welsh Back by producing an anthology of his verse ‘Around the Buoy in Bristol Fashion’ to be sold for fund raising. This poem is one of several where he recalls his home City:

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“My Bristol”

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She is gone now and my journey falters

She is gone,

If She was ever there.

I tire too easily of the game

That seeks out Her musty corners

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‘Spires and Sobriety’ they said,

Ah! but that’s not Her

No, not Her.

She was my breath and I held Her sometimes

As She holds me

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Wrapped in Her story I became Her legend

I marched,

Albeit very quietly,

In the footsteps of her lovers.

My footprints matched theirs

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Other spires in other places

Sailed through my time

Their cracked surfaces matched mine

But they were not Her.

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They did not have her grace,

Her soft corners

They did not speak with Her voice

Did not know me

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Ah yes, they were my lovers,

Briefly:

But that was prurient youth

And lacked any heartfelt embrace

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Ah, to walk among Her spires once more:

But far, far from Her now,

I know only old lovers poverty

And paint Her,

Pristine white

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Reg Kear, Victoria.