Nature's Architect, Fortress on a Hillside, Portland, Victoria, Australia

fortress ~ Pic and a Word Challenge #274

towers and citadels
ramparts and parapets
fortress on the hillside
set afire in the morning sun

battles fought
war rages on
death visits here
still more to come

one strong heart
with will of stone
resolve of iron
but moments late

her final breath
his broken cry
their eyes now glazed 
with death and grief

reign of tears
a rain of years
for one still form
her light now passing

towers and citadels
ramparts and parapets
fortress on the hillside
with darkness do the losses come

time withers
all good hope
but for love’s

five hundred years
lives pass along
’til one strong heart
revived by dreams

a love once lost
was born anew
he holds the hand
of one once dead

knows the heart
which then fell still
now beats again
in true love’s breast

time’s never still
nor linear
where once was love
love’s never lost

towers and citadels
ramparts and parapets
fortress on the hillside
rememb’ring love can’t be undone

Fortress on the Hillside
Victoria, Australia

Taken during travels, 1995

Pic and a Word Challenge

This poem is a variation on a past-life story which carries forward to the present. It was first told to me by someone I refer to as my spirit-guide. The basics of it are this.

A medieval  soldier leaves a battle to ride back to the castle, already on fire. He knows someone he loves is in peril there, but he arrives too late to save her. Hundreds of years later, that soldier is reborn and one day in mid-life remembers the past life, and realizes that the woman he loves now is the same woman he had once held, dead in his arms, inside that burning castle.

And, yeah, that soldier was me. As my spirit-guide finished the story, the truth of it fell on me like a ton of bricks. And I felt both the love and grief of that soldier as if I were reliving the moment he held her, as if the woman I now loved was there, dead in my own arms.

I hadn’t asked for a past life experience. I hadn’t even committed myself to believe in them until that moment. She told this story only because, out of the blue and out of context, I’d said to her, “There’s something you know about (the woman I love) that you’re not telling me.” We weren’t even talking about her at the time. And to this day, I have no idea why that query came into my mind at that moment.

Last week we got it Right, this week, let’s defend the Fortress or seek something else to inspire you in this photograph of a natural sand castle in Portland, along the Victoria, Australia coast.

The Pic and a Word Challenge is (usually) a weekly creativity prompt offered Mondays.

Each week I provide a photograph of mine along with a single word. The challenge? Use the pic and/or word as points of inspiration to create something — a photograph, a painting, prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, longread or just a few words. You are welcome to use these two elements (photograph and word) literally, thematically or metaphorically. If you create both images and words, all the better.

To participate:

  • Use any title you like
  • Your response can be words and/or images
  • You may use my image in your post, or any image you have created
  • Mention that you are responding to the Pic and a Word Challenge
  • Add a link to this post in your response

To help us find your response — whether on WordPress, Instagram, Flicker, Tumblr, etc. — you can also:

  • Add a comment on this post to announce your response
  • Apply the tag/hashtag “Pic and a Word Challenge” or “#picandawordchallenge” to your post

Each week, I’ll list the previous week’s responses at the end of the new challenge. I may also share some on my social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.

The previous challenge was: Right

8th of March, Barcelona, Spain, Feminist Demonstration Poster
Challenge #273 ~ Right


The word for last week’s challenge was Right, along with this photograph a  sign advertising a major women’s rights demonstration in Spain at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in Bellaterra, Spain

Two bloggers stood up for what’s Right  this week. 😉 Thanks guys!

View all the Pic and a Word Challenges, including the current challenge, on the Pic and a Word Challenge tag page.

Happy Creating!