Alison Dunhill

Sea Henge


Sea Henge

by Alison Dunhill


Solid Oak


Great central stump,

oak of Holme, you are upside-down. Your crown of root is Icarus-winged.

Holme Beach of spreading sea lavender, sea thistle,

delightful lagoons

and grass-rooted dunes of white silk.


Great central stump.

Rhythms of complex growth

are etched in deep swirls and channels in the skin-bark of your massive girth.

Four hundred years grown when four thousand years ago

honeysuckle twine dragged you to your site.


Great central stump.

Monument of sacrifice, yield of human body to sky and death,

rounded by fifty four protector-stumps, sheep of the circle,

their fleece-bark outside; their inside shorn and shiny.

In the centre you are the monolith; your crown the cradle of ritual.


Great central stump,

your magnificence is obedient today behind museum glass,

clawed by steel harness into another stasis,

perhaps fourteen miles away

from the ancient centre of the ancient (millennia-hidden) circle.

February 2014