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Jan Farquharson: The Search for Ancestors...
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The Search for Ancestors on the Moor

I see stones

I think of reed-thatch, sod fires, post and ringbeams,
The lives of people who lived here, the hair on their faces ...

I see stones

I dream of cattle, figures in file, thick hut-shadow, sooted women,
a boy with a stick, a man with meat on his short back,
fur-shod, self-conscious, unsure of his welcome,
a conclave of elders, bickering, parley ...

I see stones

I see stones, one edge meeting another,
upright, three stones together, a stone post fallen,
a backstone, bedrock, hearthstone, and stones pushed out of alignment
by turf weighted by stone, by water, turf and stone ...

I see the stones of thirty huts scattered.

I pick my way where walls were.
I face the wind where hands and feet fretted.

We trouble this place with buckets and pegs,
tripods, stratigraphies and excavation,
the rational grope of theories and spades.

I climb to get away from sadness.

I climb the hill and the hill falls away around me,
The hilltop surges flat, is grass nibbled by sheep
who run and stop and stare, the cairn is broken ...

I cannot climb any higher

The moor rotates before and behind me,
waved and flickering and nicked by rock.
I look for places, for accents, crinkles, habitation.
I look for what will arrest looking

I cannot climb any higher

I see a windfarm and blueish space beyond
which has the appearance of a sea beyond this sea.

Skylarks, ponies, sheep, scurf the shoulders of decaying granite,
runkled sheets of bog and sod pare each other to the horizon.

I cannot climb any higher
I cannot people the sky

Jan Farquharson

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Posted by Littlestone
11th August 2013ce

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Megalithic Poems (Littlestone)

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