From the Sequence The Fall of Maiden Castle


They run wild now. Our barley is unharvested, the hilltops
untenanted. The warriors all gone under the hill.
I trace their destinies in the palm of my bony hand.

We the silent ancestors under tumuli,
white-knuckled, supine upon a bed of rotted oakleaves,
listen for the generations through the soil.

They have deserted the round-huts,
developed the quern beyond our reckoning. Iron also.
They have mingled their bone with the foreign tribes,
diluted their memories of the castle,
remember alien soil instead.
The gold horde remains secreted.
The timbers a dark stain in the soil.

Our voices mere whispers in the wind-blown grass.

Andrew Hawthorne

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