|Photo by Martin Grey|
Sometimes language bears in its fossil rock
things once commonly known, now information
available to us only as tourists
as here poke through the earth
through the welter of houses from the last thousand years
through country roads, prim churches, blowzy pubs,
through male and female stones, the huge breast
called Silbury Hill, vast and cumbersome
works of a people whose will slumbers
in the stone circles, rows, wordless
as the thoughts of the sheep that graze.
Yet that will is potent, not with the dumb ferocity
and shapeliness of mountains, not with the bodily
eloquence of frightened or curious sheep.
Here are erected runes of language partly designed
to be read by clouds or goddesses, left for us
too carefully wrought to be ignored.
Sometimes with my hands on the warm/cold stone
I almost think I hear it in my bones.
I share with poet Marge Piercy a deep wonderment at the presence of the Stones, set so laboriously and intentionally by such distant ancestors, to mark circles, leys, energy ebbs and flows and currents, Solstices and Equinoxes, moon crossings, and other, more mysterious means and ways that are remembered now only by the stones themselves, and the language of the land. Yet when I walked among those stones, at Avebury or elsewhere, I always felt the whispering of the "songs that remain".
"Where Time began and will Begin", Scottish Bard Robin Williamson once said as he began his telling of an ancient story from the Mabinogian, "I make reverence to the Ancestors and the Spirits of those yet unborn". Perhaps the Beloved Silence I remember him speaking of is that Silence that contains the language of stones......and holds the songs of the Bards as well, the "songs that remain when we are gone" .