Littledean


A trace of a temple, an outline
of a religion emerging
through the scraped-back layers
of brushed earth. A square courtyard
stone-walled and fountain-fed.
An alcove for a nymph.

In the latest trench, dark soil
has reached glinting metal buried
at the edge of the Forest: a silver torc,
a thousand years untouched,
an almost-loop like a thumb and a finger
of a god holding on around your wrist.

Here it is, the twisting silver
River Severn flat on the dark vale plain
below the hilltop temple. That same torc
magnified across open ground, broad
when the current’s surging strong,
or a delicate line at low tide.

If I wear this meander around my home
I know my home is safe and guarded
on the land under the eye of a spirit,
shielded by the arc of water
at turns gold and silver
at turns of Earth and tide.