The sun is lowering in the west by the time
I reach the site. Though the hawthorn hedges
are casting long shadows, I can see
the remains of the earth fortifications.
This fortified homestead, a quarter
of a football pitch, was lived in for
six centuries, from the so-called dark
to the so-called middle ages. It was
some ‘continuing city’ for twenty four
generations – from Aneurin’s ‘Y
Goddodin’ to Dante’s ‘La Divina
Commedia’. They kept cattle, grew crops.
gathered shell fish from the shore over the hills.
We do not know why they built here or
why they left. There are no signs of havoc –
massacre or flight – and all their dead
had been buried with due ceremony.
Maybe they had received a better offer –
servitude in return for security.
I feel a chill here as twilight settles,
imagining the seemingly constant threat –
and yet… We are wired for fear. Sometimes
I dread – in my centrally heated house
with security lights, fridge and freezer –
the last clutch at the heart.