Stonehenge Artillery Range
by Michael Brett

Here are the spokes of eternity
Made mortal in broken and circling stones:
It is safe here. Young people hold hands
Like granite lintels and tour guides point.
The gusting wind plays hide and seek among the megaliths,
Each as upright, as expressionless
As the Guards around the Queen.

It was not always so: this was once the roofless palace
Of an exiled Sun who waved time's empty cup
At the drunken soldiers of his stars;
At those who followed ploughs as we do pay cheques.

Place an urgent and a tender hand into the damp recesses
Of the blue and silent rocks, all are strange;
Polished by unknown prayers and thoughts
Each worn to a moss-like ivory, an innermost gloss
Made jagged by time and the sacrifice of unknown things.

So it is with us: our cars, our lights.
These are no less mysterious than their gods and garlands
And our peace sleeps too in the shadow of swords;
The white bandages of bombs and shells that unwind
On nights black as teak,
Carved like Chinese screens with moving soldiers
And a night sky burning on one edge; all
On the throbbing forehead of the range behind the stones.

Copyright © 2012 - Michael Brett
Published: 7/12/12   ·  Author's Page   ·  Next Poem