Comment on this article


Stonehenge at Twilight
                    after William Turner of Oxford

by Brendan Constantine

From so far back, from this copper hour
when the flock comes muttering to drink,
how meager the stones appear, how like
a shepherd's teeth;
                             blue as the worm‐
wood water, remote as the look in a cup.

Sheep don't see their reflections, don't
wonder at themselves, why their faces
are not born away in a stream.
                                              They say
their one vowel and remember the dog.

This far into evensong, how like a hand
the land looks, an open palm; the flock
but a strand of wool. As if the Lord
of shepherds were declaring,
what is in my purse instead of money:
a bit of yarn to make more purses.

How like a smoking priest the distant
Heelstone seems, how like smoke
the curlews above it. They don't need
rods or tending.
                        They say their one say
and forget they said it.
                                      So close to dark,
to campfires, to propped sleep and still
within call of the sun, how like a field
is the sky, how much more like a herd
are the clouds than the birds.
                                                 The stars
are a few songs away. Only a shepherd
would add them. Only a shepherd
wants to ask,
                         What man made those?
How on earth did he get them there?

This poem was originally commissioned by the Getty Museum and Write Now.
It is currently found in the collection 'Dementia, My Darling' (2016 Red Hen Press).


Return to:

[New] [Archives] [Join] [Contact Us] [Poetry in Motion] [Store] [Staff] [Guidelines]