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Ian Wakeling

Stone Circle at Burn Moor, Eskdale

The centre-piece of this turned riddle,
Facing this way and that,
Is a sheep's skull, sunken-eyed, surrounded
By bones scattered in the decay of reason.
From a body crushed by the force of the half known,
It now bears a white tooth bone curled smile,
And is wrapped in death by a vestige of life's wool shroud,
Rain soaked and beaded with dew,
Showing no evidence of blood, of flesh,
Or of a long-lost wound.

Crying in the wake of this sacrifice,
Was a memory catching across the void, calling silent,
That asked the listener to turn, outward and around,
And etch in the mind the corrupt ring and lines
That made these ancient delineations in stone
That circle, never ending, in half shapes,
Wind sore in their eternal air drone.

Set in the sour bog soused peat,
The hunched granite figures, one by one,
Offer fractional glimpses of their coming
And the dark culture that placed them there
In the half-light of the heaving valley of time.
Now, threaded together through bone, sinew and thought,
They force a cold bloodless past into a questioning future.