Thursday, March 29, 2007

Stonehenge by John Constable: watercolour over black chalk


drops of rain running
over lichen-green sarsens
~ distant misty hills

humid summer night
sun melts into horizon
between old grey stones

unseen influences
dream the world into being
~ mandala of stars

stones reverberate
~ the ancient song of the wind
whistling up spirits

Yvonne Aburrow

Friday, March 23, 2007

John Aubrey (1626-1697)

From an inner darkness to a thin mist

John Aubrey may have been described by his friends as, "Shiftless, roving and magotie-headed..." but he was among the first to examine and record Stonehenge, Avebury and other megalithic structures with any degree of accuracy. Writing about Avebury and Stonehenge Aubrey says, "I have brought (them) from an inner darkness to a thin mist." Professionals and amateurs who have a passion for these, and similar places, continue to do so.

Avebury: south-west quadrant

Like hooded mourners

Like hooded mourners
they show no face
they speak no words
they leave no trace
the winter rain
the spring snowfall
the burning sun
and through it all
they watch they wait

Like shrouded dead
they bide their time
they break no silence
they make no sign
their lonely vigil
their unheard call
an endless dream
and through it all
they watch
they wait


Monday, March 19, 2007


Song of Amairgen

I am a wind upon the sea
I am a sea-wave on the land
I am the sound of breaking waves
Encompassing all that I see.

Erin is my lady love
Erin is my heart of gold
Erin is all my joy
And who but my lady Erin?

I am a stag of seven tines
I am a hawk upon a cliff
I am a tear-drop of the sun
Encompassing all that I see.

Fairer than I there is no plant,
I am a battle-hardened boar,
I am a salmon in a pool,
Encompassing all that I see.

A silver lake set in a plain,
The excellence of all the arts,
A battle-waging spear am I
Encompassing all that I see.

Amairgen Glungel son of Mil,
A god who sets the head afire,
The secret of the mountain stones,
Encompassing all that I see.

I invoke the ages of the moon,
And steer the course of the setting sun
Bearing cattle from Tethra's house,
Encompassing all that I see.

The sea is bursting forth of fish,
The skies are full with flights of birds,
Manannan's cattle under wave,
And the land is broad of beasts.

Yvonne Aburrow

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Bard

Weave the warp, and weave the woof,
The winding-sheet of Edward's race.
Give ample room, and verge enough
The characters of hell to trace.
Mark the year, and mark the night,
When Severn shall re-eccho with affright
The shrieks of death, thro' Berkley's roofs that ring,
Shrieks of an agonizing King!
She-Wolf of France, with unrelenting fangs,
That tear'st the bowels of thy mangled Mate,
From thee be born, who o'er thy country hangs
The scourge of Heav'n. What Terrors round him wait!
Amazement in his van, with Flight combined,
And Sorrow's faded form, and Solitude behind.

Thomas Gray (1716-1771)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Stonehenge by Lucas de Heere: circa 1574

Reaching to Reason's sky

Near Wilton sweet, huge stones are found,
But so confused, that neither any eye
Can count them just, nor Reason reason try,
What force brought them to so unlikely ground.
To stranger weights my mind's waste soil is bound,
Of passion-hills, reaching to Reason's sky,
From fancy's earth, passing all number's bound,
Passing all guess, whence into me should fly
So mazed a mass; or, if in me it grows,
A simple soul should breed so mixed woes

Philip Sidney (1554-1586)

Friday, March 02, 2007

Unspoken memories

The enormous background of time

You may put a hundred questions to these rough-hewn giants as they bend in grim contemplation of their fallen companions; but your curiosity falls dead in the vast sunny stillness that enshrouds them, and the strange monument, with all its unspoken memories, becomes simply a heart-stirring picture in a land of pictures... I can fancy sitting all a summer's day watching its shadows shorten and lengthen again, and drawing a delicious contrast between the world's duration and the feeble span of individual experience. There is something in Stonehenge almost reassuring; and if you are disposed to feel that life is rather a superficial matter, and that we soon get to the bottom of things, the immemorial grey pillars may serve to remind you of the enormous background of time.

Henry James (1843-1916)