Hill Forts

Hill forts

This grassy crater
With a domed centre
Lies peacefully in the bright sun
Where once violence played
I sit on the rim and stare
Down ten feet or so
To where the strange
Many curled seedpods of Loosestrife
Boil up from the long grass
And think of other craters
The deep circle of Faial’s Caldera
Where once, I am told
People ran away in panic
Having seen the deep lake waters
Drain like a bath down a plughole
Into the volcano below
Afraid that
With magma heating
The waters would boil back out
And envelope them and their families
Here on this English hill
Only emotions boil
We sit on the inner palisade
Of an Iron Age hill fort
Built to defend against the outsider
The other
Just as racist fears have built up
In this  summer of discontent
Driving a country to retreat within its palisades
Toppling the first domino
If I cock my ear
I hear the hot gas bubbles
Breaking the surface of great Maria Laach
Her waters covering
The forgotten Rhineland supervolcano
She is bubbling, boiling, within Germany
As America toys with electing a fool
Europe tipple topples into the usual fractions
Generations have avoided war
Now the great project of Europe
Is cracking apart
Hill forts cannot help us now

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

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