Leslie Norris: The Twelve Stones of Pentre Ifan

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The Twelve Stones of Pentre Ifan

 

The wind

Over my shoulder

Blows from the cold of time.

 

It has

Shaped the hill,

It has honed the rock outcrops

 

With the

Granules of its

Rasping.  When the old ones

 

Were born

They dropped in dark-

ness, like sheep, and hot animals

 

Howled for

The afterbirths.

I watch the great stones of

 

Faith they

Moved in the flickering

Mountains of their nameless

 

Lives, and

See once more the

Points of adjusted rock, taller

 

Than any

Man who will ever

Stand where I stand, lifting their hope

 

In still,

Huge stone, pointed

To the flying wind.  The sea ebbs again

 

And round

The endless brevity

Of the seasons the old men’s cromlech

 

Prepares

Its hard shadows.

The four great stones, elate and springing,

 

And the

Smaller stones, big

As a man, leaning in, supporting.

 

Leslie Norris (Walking the White Fields: Poems 1967-1980)

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