Anatomy of a Ruin – KB Ballentine

—Elgin Cathedral, Scotland

Starlings scuffle above gabled doorway
gaping to fen and field.  
Imagine a soft click
and the wide wood door unlatches,
swings open to yawning gray,
Mary invisible in dusky corners.

But it’s just the sky,
a bundle of mist
that sheens the stone,   
lancet windows spearing,
echoing two towers as they climb,
eclipse the gravestones.
The abbey chants its secrets,
hints of straw, wine, sandalwood whisper the air.
Gold fades, veins remaining ceiling,
cobwebs wisping columns, crevices.
The river curves its melody to the coast,
a crescendoing capriccio
surging into the sea.

Wolves have tracked the moors,
snarl outside these crumbling walls.
Light flickers in the Lantern of the North,
where shadows  stretch
under a rioting moon.
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KB Ballentine was a finalist in the 2014 Ron Rash Poetry Awards and, in 2006, a finalist for the Joy Harjo Poetry Award. She was awarded a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize in 2006 and 2007. Fragments of Light (2009) and Gathering Stones (2008) were published by Celtic Cat Publishing. Her work also appears in River of Earth and Sky: Poems for the Twenty-first Century (2015), Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VI: Tennessee (2013) and Southern Light: Twelve Contemporary Southern Poets (2011). Her third collection, What Comes of Waiting, won the 2013 Blue Light Press Book Award.