Because the poet had stood in the churchyard
and watched, by flarelamps, the graves unearthed,
watched each night the unclaimed bodies
packed away, the graveyard cinch and cinch
its boundaries so—why?—so trains might pass;
because the poet had scanned the sky,
the belfries and steeples, dark against
a paler dark; because he had heard
a fox bark, sonorous and long—
three barks, horn-like
the young man wanted the same churchyard,
the same gradually darkening, quiet sky.
Along the railroad berm, sparse clumps of heather
twitched and stilled. Twitched and stilled.
Gritty semaphores. Then he stood in the churchyard
where Hardy once stood. There was the ash tree,
and there—in memoriam perhaps?—
the upright headstones placed in rings
around its trunk. Just three or four
evenly spaced, concentric rings.
that was eighty years ago. Now the ash tree’s roots
had nudged the rings into a jumbled cluster,
had tipped, in little groups of two and three,
some stones together. One and one
and two and three. Is that a code?
Nature’s logarithmic shrug?
(‘The Hardy Tree’ – Linda Bierds)
Anyone visiting the Iron Age hill fort at Old Sarum in Wiltshire is likely to miss the weathered, lichen-speckled monument opposite the entrance, on the other side of the main road into Salisbury. The inscription on this irregular block of stone is very difficult to decipher, not just because of its age but also because of its unusual (perhaps even unique — certainly, I have seen nothing in this style before) lettering. Read More
Flying through Fitzrovia, Cupid collided with a drone. He fell to earth in New Cavendish Street, landing in a bin filled with fast-food detritus. By the time he got himself out, his wing feathers were so tacky with grease, ketchup, and mayonnaise that he couldn’t fly. Read More
I was not sent into this world to be happy, nor to search for happiness. I was sent for a special work.
(The Autobiography of Sir Henry Morton Stanley)
The need has gone; the memorial thereof remains.
(Fasti – Ovid)
The English countryside was once a refuge for writers and artists of slender means. The life was peaceful, the air was fresh, and the rents were cheap. But like exotic plants transplanted to alien soil, they brought their own peculiarities to their new habitat. And they could arouse suspicion and sometimes loathing in the natives. Read More