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:

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

‘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

Wrapped in Her story I became Her legend
I marched,
Albeit very quietly,
In the footsteps of her lovers.
My footprints matched theirs

Other spires in other places
Sailed through my time
Their cracked surfaces matched mine
But they were not Her.

They did not have her grace,
Her soft corners
They did not speak with Her voice
Did not know me

Ah yes, they were my lovers,
But that was prurient youth
And lacked any heartfelt embrace

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

Reg Kear, Victoria.