The Valley of the Stones is in Dorset in the hills north of Weymouth. This poem comes from the same short holiday which produced “Weymouth Bay”.
IN THE VALLEY OF THE STONES
This valley is thick with time
It seems to coagulate in my hands
Only to slip through them
The sarson stones lie randomly round an axis
Or clustered in small groups like some
Ambushed patrol. The hillside terracing no longer
Cares for the crops, only sheep manoeuvre
Round the stubborn lines
Who came here when the glacier withdrew
Who farmed here, that is in the time
That laps round these soft hills and asks for questions.
What will be here, I’m deaf, I cannot tell
Is it there somewhere in the swirling
And slowly settling time, or on the wind
There to be caught or dropped and in the balance?
I am fascinated by the idea of being in contact with time past, but what about time future?