Wardlaw 28

The borders of this little town
Are defined today by overview
By a looking down
To one side: the sea-plains
Stretch and thin to a clipped
Line at the very edge of sight;
To the other: sleek backs of green
Roll to the horizon beyond 
Buildings where farmland begins
And merges with the sky in a black
Fuzz of trees.

Today this tower touches the clouds
And today the sky is peeling
Back her inner layers to reveal 
Spaces of cornflower light; clouds are torn
By the wind's spite, and where the sun
Is leaving us, she blazes gold throughout
All her western halls.

This detachment of height and view
Separates me, an onlooker, from 
The walkers and thinkers
The pensive pacers
The comings-and-goings of bicyclists
And joggers
On the tended greens below.  

And all seems timeless, noiseless,
An individual view, as if
All is
As it has ever been:
This well-oiled machinery
Of another academic year 
Turns seamlessly.

But somewhere 
Deep within the silence of the scene,
Beneath the blown gold and the
Disturbance of winds,
In some subterranean place
You can feel the vibrations
Those slow reverberations
Of one great wheel oiled
And moving massively 
Its weighty mechanism
A transferrance of momentum
Contained and tracked, 
Held in place by some great
And powerful hand.

In this room, high-up in my year's
Summer air, I am just another name,
This is just another term 
To have come, turned,
And gone - I am part of
A human mechanism:
Time and tradition's one small ring
Within a greater 
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