Decoded Chronicles

Yarnbury Castle

Iron-age ghosts, our interference, still lamenting
their poor reception. On Breakheart Hill and Gibbet Knoll,
alone on the A361, they check abandoned camps;
opening the soil, observing tombs. Disembodied buses,
old monsters, in reverse, block the road. B3098:
Romeo, Kiwi, Kilo - in control. Lost units patrolling
the crumbled manor; long barrows hold them, signals
break up. The power of the state diminishes
on close inspection. Lenses carry Bratton Castle
out above the trees. They've taken their children
and killed the dogs. Some people can't be recognized.


* * *


Long Barrow

A second convoy moves in from the West Country,
motorcycle scouts pick out the way. A suspect coach
escapes police attention, its grey and green disguise
blends with the hills. There's no trace, an absence
of numbers - spirits always vanish on contact
with the ground. All Bravo units to Stonehenge -
there's thunder booming on the raised plateau,
great stones block the road. There are checkpoints stationed
at Knook, West Lavington and Orcheston,
Bratton, Edington and Yarnbury Castle - the chief
said that they don't want any trouble. Movement on foot,
across country, at night, becomes the last contingency.
So King Arthur, risen from the dead, is here; delivered
by the scent of battle, these archaic strategies.


* * *



They say that some-one's died, a small boy or a man,
head injuries from Cholderton. D-notices, secret messages
by phone; no-one north of London knows of the casualties.
Hopeless rings of stone along the county border;
they've sifted the same people, cars, vans, a dozen times -
some still get through; anonymous itinerants,
the social suicides. Another sunrise, the airways remain
congested - coils of wire trespass, breaking the skin
of some-one else's sacred ground. Respect for this belief
in life, this refusal of fear, though contrived, is essential.


* * *



12 persons on the 303, between checkpoints,
heading for stonehenge. Pantheist marchers block the road,
sing songs, move on. They've come to name their babies,
make friends; such people suffer the result
of others' loss of liberty. Ancient real estate - the lives
of unkempt hippy types: people get closer to the stones
to prove their freedom. One evening spent
on holy land between tumuli, watching the police.
Pacifists and angels in the rain, valuers of dead life.
Stonehenge, approach with caution .... Someone
somewhere admits - "There's no sign of life at my location."


* * *



These meetings: unattatched expressions of a place.
Apologetic hearts cut into trees. A day of lies ignored,
laws forgotten, defaces death, profit - such alienation.
Over grave and ditch, ancient farm and castle,
the ranged artillery is spreading shadows. Endangered rights
of way - disturbed circles; this place will never be
complete. Spirit sitings near Woodhenge, a vehicle
in the trees. Ghosts trespass on their tumuli
in drizzle. Fourteen miles of scarred plain: soldiers
and police, an interest in nowhere, keep people
safe. At night the airwaves crackled in your head
before you slept. On the M4 contra-flow a wrecker
edges closer to the plain. Lines of determination
falter; the day is unobtrusive, no-one comes here.






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