Yesterday C and I walked beside a beautiful wall webbed with Virginia creeper just starting to bud out red and lush. I told C that I really felt like writing a poem about that wall and she said, “Hey, what are the words?” The Words, as she calls them, are the Sunday whirl words posted on the FB page on Saturday. Most Saturdays I read the words to C and R and they tell me the first things on their mind as inspiration for my poem and then I usually go with something completely different…lol.
So I read the words to C and she said, “Good luck with that one mom!”
But reading the words over and over this morning I thought of The White Horse in Uffington. I love to walk that land and always feel a terrific happiness there. I took this photo of harebells growing at the ancient white bones of the horse.
saturate, control, bold, unwind, sword, often
skeptical, slight, might, sigh, ninth, threshold
I often climb the hill to the White Horse to unwind.
To walk around his massive body, to rest beside it, to sketch and write and dream of the ninth century, of the Celts and of magic, of the maiden the mother and the crone.
To sit on the damp grass and let the sun saturate me with warmth; the Vale stretching blue and violet, the horse shining white and bleached and bold in its green pasture flecked with daisies and harebells and butterflies.
Walking close by is a woman. She doesn’t look back at her husband; there’s no need. She knows he is behind her by the familiar sounds his body makes as he exerts himself.
He is skeptical about a line of rocks and resents being sent from the air-conditioned, captain’s chaired coach now cooling in the parking lot.
He picks up a piece of the body, a bone white rock, a skeletal part of the horse’s back, passes it from hand to hand and tosses it in the grass scattering the crickets; the sweat from his forehead dripping off his chin.
The day fractures and the breeze turns on itself catching a dandelion clock in midair, swirling the parachutes around and letting them float to the ground with a sigh.
In the stillness of that moment she knows she has to leave. In that stillness I was sure that if she stayed her body might dip into the earth beneath her feet.
I lift the stone in my hand and hold it in the breeze and wash it in the sun that has warmed it inside and out for so long, smoothed back the little loosings of powdery rough so when the breeze calls the horse again he’ll know which way to look.
The man wheezes and turns to leave. He doesn’t realise that mounted in his hill of gold and green, the horse can’t call the breeze but only hears it breaking on his body and feels its aching pull.
There’s nothing his wife can say. She follows in her mate’s footsteps across the meadows. He turns to see she is following and there’s a slight controlled smile on her lips as she glances back to me.
She smiles to say I have to leave but I am still here. This is the threshold of my being. I am still made of that magic that I touched for a few moments today.
And a sword held in the hand of the mother is passes to the hand of the crone deep within the barrow, turning the breeze from east to west along with the setting sun.