Carlisle Castle

Nearby, the Castle all in pink
is standing still through
centuries of its face too
being rearranged as use
required.  King David
died here, though the
little chapel is gone
into a corridor, and the
Jacobites sat, licking
stones in the dark, bodies
compressed, as they waited
the ascent into light
at the top of the steps.
A long way
from Glenfinnan to
Carlisle - we stopped
at his landing place
when it was all over
and he crossed the Islands,
the Bear Gates
never to open now.
Swallows sprinkle
the Castle precincts
and rest in its
gutters, their cheery
sunlight song
and navy wings
a far cry from
hope and soldiering.

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