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Lay for the Day
23rd September

A poem for the start of England’s autumn, from the book of Praises:

81. Of Stonehenge

The cars drone and glitter over the down
on two thin ribbons diverging
by the dense ring of stones.

The bronze-age chieftains’ mounds
look down in rows from the ridges,
low as the dimming crimson hump of day.

Their sentinel places were appointed
from below, where the henge that crowns
the gentle, pudic slope

has a clear and gravid
September moon in attendance,
and the equinoctial sun, fast-falling,

tree’s X-ray frail against the giant disc.
The loyal star, with bliss-stained clouds,
plunges into the earth

where peace flows and returns
from pillar and lintel, navel
of that stillness whose strength we overlooked.

John Gibbens
from Collected Poems

The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar