I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

25 September 2011

Rediscovering Stonehenge

(title of television program)

I am watching the History channel:
an excited anthropologist
thinks he has rediscovered Stonehenge
as a temple not to the sun but the moon.
Above the window which shows
the sun dawning at Summer Solstice,
another frames the light of the moon
coming to fullness every month.
And even the sun window also shows
Winter Solstice sunset — the true focus?

It seems self-evident to me:
the Goddess and the God,
the cycle of the seasons turning; 
neither sun nor moon alone, predominant,
but both, together, ruling the heavens
and shining down on the earth.
People, he remarks in wonder,
were able to carry out science
at quite sophisticated levels, observing
the movements of lights in the night sky.

Their physical skills, he adds,
cannot be parallelled. At certain stages
of the agricultural cycle, even today,
there’s a labour force with nothing to do.
The great pyramids at Giza
were built around the same period.
Newgrange in Ireland, believed to be
solar observatory and tomb, was earlier still. 
What magic built Stonehenge and the rest? 
He tells us: Infinite time and patience!

A German disc has been found,
dating from the Stonehenge era.
He displays it on screen, noting
it not only depicts the sun
but gives equal space to the moon.
At Newgrange he shows us a carved stone: 
three spirals coiling from one centre.
He wonders if this has religious significance.
Oh, just ask any witch! Yes, that
is a spiritual symbol, a clear triskelion.

After the end of the Ice Age, he tells us,
‘the moon-fearing hunter-gatherers’
were superseded. Agriculture needs
the cycles of the sun. But when crops failed,
did they blame themselves for neglecting
an earlier, lunar worship? (Yes, he suggests.)
He shows us tall gold wizard hats, decorated
with all the phases of the moon. The people,
he supposes, needed priest-kings, masters of time, 
who understood these older mysteries.

Finally, with irritating time and patience,
he arrives at my own conclusion:
sun and moon are united, sun and moon
are in harmony! Those ‘windows’ at Stonehenge,
when you get them lined up just right, reveal
everything that they reveal: the movements 
of the sun mimic those of the moon; and
the movements of the moon mimic
those of the sun. It becomes self-evident,
and he says it: They are one and the same.

Journalling my relationship with the moon: 25

Aso submitted for dVerse Poetics: Repetition.

P.S. The triskelion mentioned is duplicated in the Poets United logo in the sidebar at the right!

Included in the book, THREE CYCLES OF THE MOON


  1. Discursive it is, but very interesting. The repetitions do keep the moon and sun to the forefront.

  2. Thank you. I'm glad it held your interest. They are certainly the chief repetitions, for just that purpose. There are quite a few others too, probably all the better if not too noticeable, to try and stop anyone from getting unduly sidetracked. It was good to have the prompt to give me that idea!

  3. I enjoyed the education and especially the final stanza, thank you.

  4. Oh, thank you for commenting; glad you enjoyed.

  5. Thank you for your visit to my blog, and for this fascinating poem, so beautifully written. It has all the hallmarks of a 'form' poem, yet carries the story and thoughts with the confidence of free verse.

  6. this is nicely done...being your moon journal it is good to have them be up front in the repitition...i find stuff like this rather fascinating honestly...stonehnge in particular

  7. wow this was fascinating write rosemary...really enjoyed your moon relationship journal and would love to visit stonehenge one day

  8. Thanks, Brian and Claudia. I was lucky enough to visit Stonehenge in 1998 - well worth a trip!

  9. You make me want to see Stonehenge. I definitely enjoyed learning the history and reading your reflections.

  10. Rosemary this is a fantastic poem and I love your moon journal and yes Stonehenge is wonderful. Maybe next you can write about Easter Island this would fit so well thanks for sharing

  11. hi :) i love the moon, and the idea of a moon journal. moon and sun mimicking each other is an interesting way of looking at things.
    thank you for sharing.

  12. Thank you, Ann and Debbie, for these thoughtful comments.