I am a turning point in a new novel called The Head Man. If a turning point can be likened to a bend in the road, it means that I can not clearly see the ending yet. I expect surprises, for this novel has had many surprises for me, not least the following short poem.
I was writing about the death of a character called Hazel. She was the beloved of Sir Gawayn – yes, him of the Green Knight story – and he, faithful but faithless too, returned too late to save her. Standing at her grave side, Gawayn saw the following short poem which, in its own way, is a summary of the entire book… to which I must now return.
Spare a thought for Hazel,
Who lies beneath this stone,
Who loved a man, who rode away,
And n’er came riding home.
She loved too well, not wisely,
And love can be a thief.
The golden coin it steals is joy,
The change it leaves is grief.
But yet, if Hazel woke up now,
With smiling lips she’d say,
“Not to love is not to live,
No matter the price we pay.
No act of love is ever lost.
We count the joy, not the cost,
For lovers do what lovers must,’
These are the words she’d say.
She’d say, “Not to love is not to live,
No matter the price we pay.”