to chip flint and weave webs of belief
from seasons and circles of death and growth.
The stink of boar-grease stiffening my braid
and blue whorls whispering under my skin
offered hope that darkness could end.
I put on homespun robes and tonsured my head
to walk the years when dogma stalked faith;
smoothing old ways and old faces to new shapes,
nudging builders to find safe spaces in stone arches.
Heedless of changed names for the turns of the year,
I watched the ploughman bury cakes for first cut,
crooned the song of seasons round to seed-time.
I’ve paced the years’ life and I am still here to die
ever again. Hide me beneath plastic and tinsel,
dress me in red, fatten my cheeks, disinfect my story;
the scent of old circles clings to the shade of man.