The Sentinel – A Reflection on Xanadu by David Hobberlin


The Caravan By Edwin Lord Weeks, 1877

In the vigil that I keep
with those who only seem to sleep
birds herald the arrival of the dawn
as Balthazar comes to Babylon.
Though still the shadows of the night
bestir the brightness of this light
I feel a tremor on my hands
along the boundary of these lands
of mystic forces following him
across the desert’s giant rim
to meet the city with the sun;
another day of life’s begun
that brings upon this caravan
the dream of hope within the man.
Beware! Beware! I have heard the cry
from off this wall that I occupy
of weary hearts on domes of ice
where runs the sacred river Alph;
whose golden strands filter down
to sunless seas where men are bound
in ancient caverns fathomless.
Drawn each to each by their loves embrace.
For now there enters something new,
a horizon lifting with the dew.
A minstrel on a dulcimer
plays his song into the air.
This instrument a rare device
floating above these caves of ice
to touch me with its magic thrice.
The voice a measure of the verse.
So shall I linger, wake or sleep
in the vigil that I keep.

March 2020
Source: The Author
I am a Canadian poet currently living in Chippawa. Over the years my poems have appeared in a number of anthologies and periodicals beginning with the anthology ‘Canadian Poets of 1969’.

The poem ‘On the Waterfront of Toronto’ earned the Monica Ladell Award 2012 for best poem presented by the Scarborough Arts Society.

I have participated in various poetry readings and venues held in Toronto, Scarborough, Welland, St. Catharines, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Niagara Falls.

Grey Borders Books published three chapbooks of my poetry – Inanna  (A Tale of Sumer),  Reflections on the Republic, and Going to Work on a Snowy Morning. Click to visit the David Hobberlin page on the Grey Borders Books website
The Indian Heritage Council of Morristown, Tennessee, published a limited edition chapbook ‘The Pipe Maker and Other Poems’ in the millennial year 2000.


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