We have captured the stones in their circles
first with maps and sketches
now with our many photographs.
They would otherwise move
dance in moonlight’s shadows,
shuffle away to the devils lair,
creep up on a King or a witch.
We have opened the barrow graves to sunlight
pinned them to history with interpretive notices
collected the many bones within.
Lurking on ridges, smothered with grass,
besieged by fields and fences,
children now play in dark chambers
where once ancestors dreamed.
Do the stones protest at their confinement?
Do barrow wights still lurk after dark?
Have we chased away the Gods-smith?
Do we care?
All those half written, half finished, half-remembered tales, myths, superstitions every unedited, mistyped version still cannot tell of those long ago who placed stones in lines and rings who left solitary huge monoliths scattered who carved ditches and lines over landscapes which had different meanings then.
Eagle led me into the woods yesterday after school. Read to the end to see the poem our hike inspired. A forest grows between the golf course and the bike path following reclaimed railroad tracks half mile (1K) from the school. Oak trees, standing and fallen. Those that were horizontal were covered with half moon mushrooms.
We walked a kilometer through the woods and the city disappeared. A sacred quiet descended. I felt uprooted from time. When were we? Were minutes in motion? We arrived in the spiritual home of the mushrooms. Was it once named that way, rather than by the family name of the owner…?
The mushrooms took many different shapes, as they did their work returning nutrients to the soil.
Silent workers, recycling trees, feeding tree children grown into the canopy above.
Church bells have many voices joyous peals clamour across Saturday weddings bellow for Sunday attendance toll sonorous to the dead but at Wednesday evening practice the tonal song and dance differs depends who is pulling the rope sometimes tempestuous sometimes a quivering drone other times the bells (and the seething listener) may beseech release from an idiot beginner
Moorland lurks in my soul skies that bleed rain, seep mist slant slopes that yearn for sunlight in winter twilight danger as sharp branched trees close in a dance with the lowering sky someone once said it was my altar my shadow a church spire across bog
Vanished cities, drowned, razed desolation and grief done and dusted Atlantis gone into to myth Carthage, Mohenjo-daro, Great Zimbabwe all left ruins to wander and wonder in history’s depth lie others lost in deserts, buried in forests, slipped into oceans more will go as sea levels rise, storms devour
There are other ways to lose a city I have lost mine, changed and changing beyond what I once knew foreign in my home town I archeologise observing layers buried by new wealth (transitory puffs of global capital) visualise the people that have moved on as I have refugees priced out, social-cleansed living on the fringes looking back to better times
It is always dawn and dusk Time moves on geographically The terminator line marches inexorably Round and round the planet Smoothed across the sparkling Pacific Cut to shreds by jagged mountains Rippled across desert dunes Unnoticed in the mega-cities Each second brings a thousand tiny awakenings A thousand tiny refugees from sleep A thousand predatory opportunities A thousand closings