We built our castles on the sand.
The tide came in, and there an end.

We built our castles out of fear.
Trust began to disappear.

We built our castles stone by stone.
Their shadow chilled us to the bone.

We built our castles far apart.
Twin halves of a broken heart.

We built our castles thoughtlessly.
No chance for you, no luck for me.

We built our castles in the air.
Nothing we hoped to find was there.

We built our castles. Let them fall.
Time disposes. Love is all.

by John Mole

‘Castles’ is copyright © John Mole, 2011. It is reprinted from The Point of Loss by permission of Enitharmon Press.

Notes from Enitharmon:

Born in 1941 in Taunton, Somerset, John Mole has lived for most of his life in Hertfordshire, teaching English and running The Mandeville Press with Peter Scupham. An extensive and diverse writing career has seen him publish, alongside many poetry books, the selection of essays Passing Judgements and a libretto for Alban, a community opera which premiered in St. Albans Abbey in the spring of 2009. Recipient of the Gregory and Cholmondeley Awards for poetry, and the Signal Award for his writing for children, he is currently poet-in-residence with the charity Poet in the City.

In his most recent book, The Point of Loss, from which ‘Castles’ is taken, personal memories are explored with a sharpness which avoids sentimentality while the seriousness of many of his subjects is addressed with a blend of affection, sardonic humour and a characteristic lightness of touch. Political, intimate and exceptionally readable, The Point of Loss engages with its subjects in a variety of verse styles, ensuring that every poem is memorable in its own right despite the range of Mole’s interests. As John Clare, Herod and Billie Holiday rub shoulders with figures from the writer’s own life, it is the significance we have to one another which is fleshed out here without pretension.

You can hear John Mole read from a selection of his work at the Poetry Archive here, and read a poem he wrote as part of his work with Poet in the City here.

Enitharmon Press takes its name from a William Blake character who represents spiritual beauty and poetic inspiration. Founded in 1967 with an emphasis on independence and quality, Enitharmon has been associated with such figures as Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and Kathleen Raine. Enitharmon also commissions internationally renowned collaborations between artists, including Gilbert & George, and poets, including Seamus Heaney, under the Enitharmon Editions imprint. You can sign up to the publisher’s mailing list here to receive a newsletter with special offers, details of readings & events and new titles and Enitharmon’s Poem of the Month.

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