Thursday, November 15, 2007

A poem


There've been some delays, but at latest word The Sarsen Witch should be out in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, Carole's two poems have motivated me to post one of my own. "Avebury", written some years ago, was inspired by a visit to the megalithic sites in Wiltshire.

Ravaged giants rooted in primordial chalk
sleep now in this mild September light.
Where sheep crop the long grass among the stones
old gods, unvanquished, linger at the edge of sight.

What grand conceits our mutable histories have built
around these interrupted symmetries:
Druid temples, sepulchres, and altars
to esoteric Roman deities

like Terminus, the motionless god;
celestial observatories,
linchpins in the cosmic axle-tree,
the pivot-stones
around which the moon and stars and planets spin.

But look slantwise, at sundown,
and the stones are inhabited by familiar ghosts:
priestesses, shamans, warriors,
sentries vigilant at their posts

and dancers frozen in the first measures
of some vast pavane,
their obdurate, ungainly shapes
poised in timeless equilibrium.

Gnarled and twisted by eternities
of wind and weather
two stones like gossiping old women
lean their gaunt heads together,
their sly whispered commentaries lost
in the restless murmuring of the long grass.

1 comment:

CaroleMcDonnell said...

Eileen! That is sooo beautiful. Very evocative. Woman, I envy your ability to describe settings. ...And to describe with such emotion and such clarity. Dang, woman! I have to get your book. -C