STONEHENGE

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Whilst penning a segment in another work I've had occasion to delve deep into the waning days of the Stonehenge Free Festival. The Festival played out it's string in '84 or '85, like so many things a victim of it's own success.

 

Stones they set in earth
A temple to observe
A treasure holds it’s worth
In movements they preserve
 
This edifice stands still
In a misty shroud afield
Testament of the skill
What tools did they wield
 
Moon retires, depose the Queen
Sun ascends the ring
Banish night to reign supreme
Arise! The Sun is King
 
The hunter’s moon has waned
Field and forest were deserted
And those who then remained
Made the lands to farms converted
 
When the Sun became the measure
By which we mark our time
Into hours of toil or pleasure
And in darkness sleep sublime
 
We divide our days in hours
Weeks and months and years
Yet now we cower
Before a whole new set of fears
 
What promise was there granted
Was it all in vain
When those stones were planted
Upon the Wiltshire plain

Comments

Passion Blues Added Dec 7, 2017 - 4:23am
TBH- I can picture standing there....the sun rising, mist in the air....and your prose being recited. What lovely images.....Thank you sir for sharing your talent!
opher goodwin Added Dec 7, 2017 - 5:22am
TBH - great poem that captured the change between the nature based religion of the early agricultural people, worshipping sun and moon, the passing of the seasons, and the industrial people whose life is mechanically run by the clock. You nailed it.
The Burghal Hidage Added Dec 7, 2017 - 8:06am
I hope to stand upon that storied ground some day myself.  I had developed earlier fascination with Stonehenge and all of the theories that abound as to its purpose and origins.  When researching for another writing project recently I located some very good accounts of the final years of the the old Stonehenge Free Festival. I happened upon a YouTube video made of footage recorded at the 1984 festival, nearly an hours worth. There are a couple of minor slip ups in the synchronization of audio and video, but for the most part it has pretty good editing for a YouTube vid. A large segment featured a performance by Roy Harper. I ended up watching this several times. Watching it, hearing him play and my prior knowledge of Stonehenge served to inspire this vision.
Very heartening to hear from others who believe I've been able to capture a part of that upon the page.
 
Thanks Blues & Opher both!
 
Ric Wells Added Dec 7, 2017 - 8:15am
Good luck. I visited Stonehenge about 3 years ago. First you stop at a weigh station to buy a ticket to be herded onto a bus. And you haven't seen anything. Then you are bussed to a location where you are unloaded but cannot walk amongst anything. What was a uniquely spiritual event has been turned into a profiteering venture. I refused the bus and drove down an adjacent road and stopped to view. So I had my own personal Stonehenge adventure. 
The Burghal Hidage Added Dec 7, 2017 - 8:25am
I understand that it has become much more restricted. There was momentum moving for the closure of the festival in it's final years.
Ric Wells Added Dec 7, 2017 - 8:29am
One of the problems is in the past people who visited the site were stealing pieces. Guards were put into place but couldn't stop it. Finally it was decided to put up a fence. My understand was that only Druid ceremonies were allowed on the actual grounds. Whether that will continue I have no idea. But I changed my anger to a positive event when I got into my car and did my own exploring. Maybe that's the best way. A personal experience to me is always the best.
The Burghal Hidage Added Dec 7, 2017 - 10:07am
Ric - That is indeed true. Try to sell me a packaged tour and I'll go all Eric Idle on ya, a la Mr. Smoke-Too-Much.  Come on! Surely someone on here would get the reference!
Even A Broken Clock Added Dec 7, 2017 - 10:58am
A very good poem Burghal. I've often wondered what the frequency is of having clear skies over that part of England on the solstice. Kind of ruins the spirit of the day when fog and low clouds prevent the sun from making its appearance.
 
Ric - a long time ago, I had a similar experience at Walden pond. I was in the area and went to see the pond and site of the cabin, but there was a parking fee. I didn't realize that the main attraction of the area was the use of the pond as a swimming pool. Anyway, I turned around, parked the car along the side of the road, and hiked across the hill. I found myself right at the site of Thoreau's cabin, and was able to take in the ambiance of the site while celebrating my own bit of civil disobedience by not paying the parking fee.
Neil Lock Added Dec 7, 2017 - 12:10pm
I visited Stonehenge once, 50 years ago this year. In those days, you could just park and walk in. I can't say Stonehenge did that much for me, but it was April not June. Now, it's become touristville.
 
But Avebury Ring about 30 miles away is much more fun - there's a road that goes right through the middle! And there's a pub there, too.
The Burghal Hidage Added Dec 7, 2017 - 12:16pm
Any port in a storm!  Pubs, yes....there must be more pubs...
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Dec 7, 2017 - 12:53pm
Burg
 
Ist das von dir (Is that your poem) ?
 
Good one, and true. We divide our time in seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, but we let them pass by without using them ;-)
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Dec 7, 2017 - 12:55pm
Neil
 
PUBS !
 
The best Pome invention only followed by Monty Python. Created by the most clever Brit there ever was; John Cleese, the American.
 
Talkin' 'bout that special relationship LOL
The Burghal Hidage Added Dec 7, 2017 - 1:13pm
Danke, ja. Mein eigenes :)
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Dec 7, 2017 - 1:16pm
Superb :-)
opher goodwin Added Dec 7, 2017 - 6:43pm
TBH - I was fortunate enough to visit Stonehenge before it was fenced in. A remarkable place. Just down the road is Avebury - another fantastic place.
The Stonehenge festivals were magical too. I'm glad you got to see Roy play on youtube. He is special to me. I've known him since 1967 and was present at the recording of a number of his albums at Abbey Road.
The Burghal Hidage Added Dec 8, 2017 - 2:16am
The man is an incomparable talent. 
Leroy Added Dec 8, 2017 - 4:35pm
Nice poem!
The Burghal Hidage Added Dec 9, 2017 - 9:47am
Thanks Leroy! It's been my medium of late.
opher goodwin Added Dec 10, 2017 - 3:34pm
TBH - Roy Harper is totally unique.

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