Stan Beckensall gave me permission to publish his following new poem to the blog. It will also be published in Paul Brown’s forthcoming ‘Tempus’ book.
Rooted teeth, the hunter’s hold on flesh
That once roamed free
Pursued by points of flint
Broken from the ground and shaped.
We need to rearrange the universe
To suit ourselves;
To drag stones, sometimes shape them,
Plant them in the earth
In rows, in circles, single sentinels
Enfolding, leading, isolated,
Each according to our need.
The circle pulls the sun and moon
Down from the rhythmic flow of sky,
Ensuring that their magic works for us.
Stone rows lead the rising and the setting of the sun,
An avenue of our own creation,
And when crops fail, beasts sicken,
Fever strikes and children die,
Our faith is vested in recycled rock
Born of the earth but pointing to the sky,
Invested with acknowledgement
That without god’s assistance
We are but specks of dust, and powerless
Within the vastness of a universe.
Stones, planted properly will help our crops to grow.
Stones guarantee the flow
Within bow’s reach or slingshot’s range
Of beasts that clothe and nourish us.
When nature fails us,
Bringing death, disease, the breaking up of tribes.
We do not blame the stones,
But offer them new bribes.