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This March day is replete with the bright warmth

of spring and ewes bleating for their lambs.

Cropped, walled grass rolls like a green, chequered sea.

The name translates: ‘Hillock of the black grove,

the dark cell’.  The sacred trees have gone:

with the Druids, out-run by Rome’s legions;

and the wheat fields, which fed all of Cymru

before the Plantagenets came. High ground

and megalith survive:  sign-posted, fenced.


A passage of shale slabs opens on a round

chamber, holding this afternoon’s sun

like a child: stones dressed five thousand years ago

and angled exactly north east south west.

My fingers explore incisions that could be

accident or arcane inscriptions.

South east, beyond the straits, the horizon

is mountains – volcanic, sandstone, slate, shale –

unmoved for hundreds of millions of years.


Working – with bone, flint, empiricism

in wood, earth, stone –  death is imminent

and a nonsense.  Graffiti are triumph

and denial. This pasture was arable,

oakwood, ice.  This hand’s span, which dies with me,

stretches from long, long before the Flood.




© Copyright David Selzer

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