Like a monstrous chess piece, the tower commands a flattened hill. Castle or Bishop? Hard to tell. Below a battlemented top, stepped buttresses like burly shoulders flank an elaborate façade where rows of niches, empty now, housed stone-carved saints. Religious faith as battlefield: under the tower’s ponderous feet what other, older deities lie crushed?
Back turned against the Medieval wall, where blotches of lichen make shapes for imagination to play with, a woman gazes at a view we cannot see. Silhouetted in the Gothic entrance arch, a tourist couple, backpacked, she with guidebook in hand, he a walking stick, peruse a plaque. Beyond the arch, where once a chapel stood, a rising cloud invades a hazy sky.
Shanti Balsé "The Tor"
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