Marc Latham hadn’t planned any new Folding Mirror poems this week, and wanted to focus on other writing work, but Suzi Quatro’s Search for Jim Morrison inspired a poem yesterday, and Neil Oliver‘s History of Ancient Britain documentary last night (http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/b01971gm/, available until 10:04PM Sun, 8 Jan 2012 in the UK; don’t know about any other availability) had an exciting archaeological find in Orkney that seemed perfect for a Folding Mirror poem. As the documentary is only available this week it was thought that a quick publishing was needed. Sorry if it’s a poetry overload so soon after the holidays!
Spiritual Portal found between Ring of Brodgar and Stones of Stenness
The Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness have long been fascinating attractions on Orkney, off the north-east coast of Scotland. An archaeological dig between the two circles, called the Ness of Brodgar, has now found a large temple complex, which they think was a portal on a procession route from the Land of the Living – Stones of Stenness to the Land of the Dead – Ring of Brodgar.
It is thought that there was a similar relationship between Stonehenge and the nearby Durrington Walls, with a procession route between the two via the River Avon.
It is believed that the Ness of Brodgar was destroyed when the Bronze Age brought a new political and religious system, and the inhabitants lost faith with the old Stone Age rituals.
The poem is structured in line with the order of the ancient procession rather than geographically; as shown in the above map on the Orkney Jar website, the Ring of Brodgar is north of the Stones of Stenness. Here’s the poem:
When Life Looked into the Mirror of Death
Land of the Living
Stones of Stenness
carefully crafted circle
pathway between sea
Ness of Brodgar, purifying portal
respecting ancient lessons
alms around ancestors
Ring of Brodgar
Land of the Dead
Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (http://www.greenygrey.co.uk).