White Horses

The summer was nearly gone, had already packed its suitcases, but probably searched for a pair of matching shoes or was hiding from aunt autumn who as everyone knows tends to kiss everyone without asking like some aunts did when I was a child. The lake was silent and blank, a huge mirror and a world of its own. Nearby was a tennis-court where we no one ever saw practicing a game and in the old summerhouse where we lived close by the lake our only companions were the countless midges as well as the birds who were in truth the real owners of both the summerhouse and lake. Blackbirds bounced across the lawn in the morning, the robins wrestled with worms and a very proud pheasant strutted around slowly as to ensure that everyone including ourselves could admire him and all the green, brown, white and red feathers of him. And the feathers indeed, suited him tremendously well. The hedges around the house were running wild and neither you or I were eager to change those. I remember the old Japanese maple, the silent dark shadowed fir trees, the quinces full of yellow and sweet scenting fruits and the birch trees standing in groups seeming to hold each other by hand and whispering all day long. The lake was always bright and silent and even became more silent towards the end of the summer as it were its way to prepare for the arriving autumn and winter. The small  wooden rowboat, painted red on the outside and white within had no name. You rolled your sleeves to the elbow and the hairs on your arms tinged golden in the course of the summer but you never took of your dark jacket and while you rowed us on the middle of the lake you seemed to sink deep into yourself, starting long and self-contained monologues without an beginning and often you did not find an end, listening to you in this small boat was as if one throws a stone in the lake, watching him silently sink deep and deeper but never see through to the ground. You tended to forget that I was with you and maybe this was the reason because you kept telling me all the stories you would have never shared with me otherwise. I still remember how I trailed my hand into the water, looking at your golden shimmering arms, half asleep and trying to concentrate on your words while yellow birch leaves and red maple leaves were blown from the trees and drifted down to rest upon the water as golden as your arms and the deep lake. It was many years later and far away from the summer, the lake, your golden hairs and your voice when I came across the story of Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester in Eliot’s Waste-Land, and it was than, when I remembered that you told the story different not depicting Elizabeth as so many did as an old harridan but telling me of a queen upon her white horse speaking to the troops at Tilbury fort, the possible murder of a wife and the cloud of suspicion upon the whole story of two lives. As well as this story was always a story of power, Leicester and the Earl of Essex holding the bridle reins of the queen and the queen’s horse was white and white towers, many of them would fall while the empire was built and white would not remain a color to depict history,but you who told me once the story T.S.Eliot told so remarkable well, never told me who was the woman you were so much in love with that she reminded you of queen upon a white horse. It was not me, that is sure but still I want to know, who she might have been, reminding you of A gilded  shell. Red and gold. Weialala leia. Wallala leilala.

T. S. Eliot remains a tremendously gifted magician of words and Alicia Keys knows something of wild horses.

 

 

2 thoughts on “White Horses

  1. i could comment on so much in this piece, but the writing skill that held me spellbound was your ability to describe with detail, imagery, imagination, and fresh eyes; as in, for example your description of birds, the real owners of the summerhouse and lake. Thanks for reminding me to take the time to bring the wealth of description to my writing.

    • Thank you very much for your kind and encouraging words! The birds I think are often underestimated and especially proud Mr Pheasant remains unforgettable to me….

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