The death that greets at Butser

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Haggard  skeleton;
Sockets deep;
Horns of plenty,
Decaying bone.
An Iron Age greeting?
Welcome talisman
Or deadly curse?
Dare I enter……?

I was privileged enough last weekend to visit the Iron Age replica settlement at Butser in Hampshire UK. The original farm was an archaeological experiment from the 1970s. It has now moved to a different site nearby where there are houses from Pre-Neolithic to Roman times some recreated from actual archaeological finds in Wessex, giving a living museum. They run various course throughout the year in skills used by our ancestors. I got to make felt for clothing and a friend learned to knapp stone tools. There are skulls above the doors of the neolithic houses. Probably the houses were built by a group and an animal killed for a feast on completion. The skull representing the animal spirit was put over the door maybe to ward off evil spirits.

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Words and photo copyright Englepip©

On Chesil Beach

_1610782All a long the shore they lie,
Staring at a cloudless sky
Helpless and broken
On a bed of stones.

No gull swoops to devour them
No dog to crunch their  bones
Motionless, unwanted
None can hear their moans.

Unburied and discarded,
Helpless, rigid souls,
Staring up at heaven
Near where the huge sea rolls.

And always the sea batters
Upon this beach so cold
Pounding and back-gurgling
Stones millennia old.

For aeons past this beach has rolled
These stones so round and smooth;
What chance have fragile life-forms,
Against the force of time untold?

Words and photo copyright Englepip©

Chesil beach is a vey impressive “elemental” place. It is very hard to walk on and is vast and challenging. If you are interested, please follow this link to find out more here.

 

 

Shelley, this is England

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When I wake early to a summer’s morn

My spirits, leap.

Turning,  I watch your chest gently rising and falling

And I am glad, so glad that you will be here

To share this day.

The dawn has broken and the birds flit from bush to tree

Finding a perch high up from which

To announce their presence and welcome

The fact that they are alive.

My territory they announce; my family; my food.

I cannot blame them, for them,

Not to fight for the right

To survive; means certain death.

I watched last year how the  blue-tit parents failed to provide

And all nine chicks lost their lives.

But I am human and English and comfortable

And on Saturday mornings the whole world is mine

For an hour or maybe two.

Quietly I slip from the bed and into a gown,

Creeping downstairs to boil the kettle

And look out at the garden which has grown while I was not looking.

Sitting at the table next to the patio door

I luxuriate in the pale dawn light; 

the bird song and the peace

And the fact that there is not yet traffic.

A woody scent emanates from the earth

As the dew evaporates with the growing warmth.

I hear a plop as a frog returns to the tiny  pond next to the pear tree.

And I think of England – as did Shelley- except I am here already.

I have another forty-five minutes, surely.

The sun rises and the bird song diminishes on my little patch of paradise

And still I think of England, my early morning England.

But as the noise of planes and traffic increases,

So does the dust in the air which becomes city dry

Taking on that acrid brightness that is brittle;

And though the heat is increasing,  I pull my gown closer and shiver

At the prospect of  a Saturday in England, in the twenty-first century.

My tea is cool now in the mug.

One neighbour has decided to spray insecticide early,

While it is cool and he thinks no one will notice.

 At the back, the children have woken and wail in an argument over an iPad.

And then the DIYers…….and the traffic!

The cacophony of what is England now, today.

England – fair England – eaten up by diesel fumes and thoughtlessness,

I hear you stir.

And I am so glad that you will be here with me,

To calm and shield me in the chaos that is life;

My constant in a changing and polluting world that

I would hold dear,  but fear cannot survive this way.

I will take you up a cup of tea.

Photo and words copyright Englepip©

In the shadows

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Languid in the shelter of the dark shadows;
Exhausted from the burning heat of the day,
I lie back on the coolish grass and contemplate
The beauty of a leafy canopy against a cloudless sky.

 

 

 

Love Lost

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Deserted; bereft of your company;

Your love a retreating tide

Or a falling Autumn leaf.

Brittleness

Fills the air and skeletal twigs

Populate my life

Despite the summer sun. 

The tide lays bare the rocks

And sand blows across the empty beach. 

Once we held so much

As one, rolling on the ebb and flow of life. 

But today you do not put your arms 

Around me

And your smile sits on another horizon

Not mine. 

Our ship

Sinks below the horizon

Out of sight forever. 

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But always my soul yearns

For you. 

 

Photo and poem copyright Englepip©

 

I miss the Daily Prompt. It got me writing regularly. Thank you to AARDVARK – Alan GraceNZ for providing a forum. I must get my head around it soon. See below.

https://guestdailyposts.wordpress.com/guest-pingbacks/https://guestdailyposts.wordpress.com/guest-pingbacks/

Stumpy

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I lift, I try, I try to fly
My wings I flex to do those tricks
My mother does, my father does
But I’m still just a ball of fuzz.

I know you’re s’posed to flap a bit
To work those muscles, not just sit
But here I stay, feet on the ground
My wings I think must be unsound.

They’re stumpy, there’s no doubting it
They’ve no real feathers I admit
But maybe if I flex them lots
My wings will grow and you’ll see what’s

The outcome when I grow  so tall
With feathers  great and neck so long
I’ll be a fine fellow with a honking call
And you’ll look at me and be enthralled

And we won’t recall this little bit
When wings are wrong and just don’t fit
Will we?

Verse and photo copyright Englepip©