A moment’s drive from busy Bruges
About which tourists so enthuse
Lies, lost in a rural scene,
A white-washed village, calm, serene.
In times gone by it used to be
Bruges’ outpost to the sea
Linked by canal tree-lined and straight
Its busy port off-loaded freight
From ships which brought in casks of wine
Timber, pitch and spices fine
The village swelled - became a town
Bringing wealth to Bruges’ crown.
Caught up in wars, fights over trade
Fate took over, I’m afraid
Silt blocked access to the sea
And the population had to flee.
It became a place forte for the Spanish
With bastions which in turn would vanish
So what the tourist sees today
Are shops with artwork on display.
Reminders of its glorious past:
Its giant church lost in the grass
Half-ruined, open to the sky
And majestic town hall; time goes by!
(c) Poet in the woods 2014