Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Stonehenge in the Scala Mundi manuscript of 1440

The Ruin

Well-wrought this wall: Wierds broke it.
The stronghold burst...

Snapped rooftrees, towers fallen,
the work of the Giants, the stonesmiths,

Rime scoureth gatetowers
rime on mortar.

Shattered the showershields, roofs ruined,
age under-ate them.

And the wielders and wrights?

Earthgrip holds them - gone, long gone,
fast in gravesgrasp while fifty fathers
and sons have passed

Wall stood,
grey lichen, red stone...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

View from West Kennet Long Barrow (1944) by John Piper

And so

And so, here we lie at last,
Our brief bright story ended.
Know us by these marks –
We loved our world, and yours.
And even at our passing
Committed no offence.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

June 21 again

Back to the Stones

My name is John Thomas I come from the grave
Where promises vaporise each latest wave
Straight from the breadline with nothing to spare
For a world of high finance and no purpose, I'd just like to say I don't care
I prefer deprivation it's such a slow death
I just want to walk away, take a deep breath
Do something other than fill the same street
Nothing to live for, no way, no way to fill my heart beat

The summer will come and we will run into the sun again
The summer will come and it will be June 21 again
The summer will come... Back to the stones

The pigs came on Saturday and surrounded the road
Tore down our house and destroyed our abode
The road to the henge was blocked off by the state
600 Hitlers with prejudice, prejudice driven by hate

Brute force and justice will not change my mind
About how I think and the friends that I find
I walk with my head high and I'll never be drawn
By promise of futures I just wouldn't want to be born...

Roy Harper

Thursday, November 16, 2006

From the Tree to the Pool: Image credit Agnes Miller Parker

And this, our life...

And this, our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.


As You Like It: Act II. Scene I.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Willow and Stones at the Swallowhead Spring

Some men are so blinded

Sume men synd ablende thaet hi bringath heora lac
to eorrdfaestum stane and eac to treowum
and to wylsprimgum swa wiccan taecath
and nellath understandan hu stuntlice hi doth
odde hu se deada stan othe thaet dumbe treow
him maege gehelpan othe haele forgifan
thone hi sylfe ne astyriath of thaere stowe naefre.

Some men are so blinded that they bring their gifts
to earth-fast stones and their prayers to trees
and to well-springs as wizards teach.
And will not understand how foolishly they act
or how the dead stone or the dumb tree
can help or give them health
when those things themselves never move from their place.

From Halitgar's (Halitgarius: 817-831) Latin Penitential. Translated into Old English by Aelfric (955–1020).

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Sarum Plain by Charles Knight: circa 1845

A Wiltshire Tale

Fleets of Bedford rascals make like shepherds for the border
bringing treats and tasty parcels past the grasp of law and order
to a man who mows a meadow just a mile or so from Marlborough
with his silo bins of psylocybin hidden underwater
moonraking making merry modern mirthful smirking mortals
as crop circle tourists searching for the perfect portal
and one-percenters hurtle on in bounty laden bentleys
the centre of their world’s beyond this county evidently
so Farmer Giles smiles gently ‘gainst a stile as if a sentry
his dog the vale air snorts a plenty faithful four and twenty
who hackles up and means to bark but checks his master’s feelings lest
he should put to flight the figure who approaches over the crest
for neither know nor friend nor for like this unbidden guest
who settles there the stile his chair and utters this bequest
“I am that man they call old Nicolas Flamel who cannot die
quicksilver streams immortal dreams between you and my eye
for I was here many a long year before big belly oak was a sapling
from the hill-fort down to the village green I saw tribal teams a-grappling
where Merlin’s mound bound magic in the chalk down ground and the causeway side
where the white horse rides in the bright night sky when the bourne is high and wide
where was a hill hand-harrowed with the marrow of the barrow and the megalith henges aligned
now golf course buggies caddy daddies to the sand and the modern day tumuli
where Romans dropped their coins in wells and lit candles for their friends
they came they saw they left and burnt the sandal at both ends
this shire the spear of Alfred’s Wessex put the danelaw men to run
lashed from here to Essex with rock hard cakes and the English tongue
where templars sharpened swords of steel on standing sarsen stones
where the wind cries ‘myrtle’ round hangman’s tree and the old oak gibbet moans
again crusaders train on the bustard plain to flatten saracen homes
with broadband waistline uptown download chatroom ringtone phones”
and there at last he stopped and cast a graven eye at dog and man
and he said with weary I wish no more to live beyond what mortals can
and he reached deep down in his cloak and he offered up a pebble in his open hand
and said, “here have this stone that grants a neverending span”
but the farmer laughed and said, “why you know not who I am
why none other than that famous feted Giles of Ham
who took the book from the dragon’s nook and stopped time’s falling sand
and I’ve a stone of my own so you take yours and get off my land!”

Nick Harper

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Rollright Stones

Stones have been known to move

It will have blood; they say, blood will have blood:
Stones have been known to move and trees to speak;
Augurs and understood relations have
By magot-pies and choughs and rooks brought forth
The secret'st man of blood. What is the night?

Macbeth: Act III. Scene IV.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Safe roads. Reliable journeys. Informed travellers

Battle Of The Beanfield

I thought I heard something calling me
I've seen the pictures on TV
And I made up my mind that I'd go and see
With my own eyes
It didn't take too long to hitch a ride
With a guy going south to start a new life
Past the place where my friend died
Two years ago
Down the 303 at the end of the road
Flashing lights - exclusion zones
And it made me think it's not just the stones
That they're guarding
Hey, hey, now can't you see
There's nothing here that you can call free
They're getting their kicks
They're laughing at you and me
As the sun rose on the beanfield
They came like wolf on the fold
And no, they didn't give a warning
They took their bloody toll
I seen a pregnant woman
Lying in blood of her own
I seen her children crying
As the police tore apart their home
And no they didn't need a reason
It's what your votes condone
It seems they were committing treason
By trying to live on the road
And I say,
Hey, hey, now can't you see
There's nothing here that you can call free
They're getting their kicks
They're laughing at you and me
Hey, hey, now can't you see
There's nothing here that you can call free
They're getting their kicks
They're laughing at you and me
Remember what you heard,
Hey, hey, now can't you see
There's nothing here that you can call free
They're getting their kicks
They're laughing at you and me

The Levellers