Moments in Time

A poem written by porter Paul Harris especially for this academic year, in which we mark both 100 years since the start of World War One and thirty years since women students arrived at Pembroke.

Moments in Time

It’s 1914; the morning of 23rd August
was hot, dry and dusty.
A breeze stirred the leaves in the early morning sun,
Birds whistle and pipe in the trees.
Bees buzzed in the hedgerow
Near Dour, in France.
Corporal Fielding-Johnson, adjusted his goggles,
kick-started his motorcycle,
And set off on his immortal journey
Far away from the shell-shock and shrapnel.
Far away from family, mess-mates, and friends.
A journey that brings him back to our cloisters.
Time slips through our hands like Quicksilver.
It is in the same cloister
Some seventy years later
Changes have come trickling through time
Bourne on the wings of war.
Where once only young men
Studied and sweated, with logic and sport
Young women also are welcome to share
The Library; the sports field; the stage; and the bar.
They step forward together
Their future secure.