Inspirational Poetry: A Standing Stone in Gladstone Park

Longer than forever ago lived
a people whom we, squinting
back through thickets of time,
like to call The Celts. It's said
they worshipped trees,
as ancient people widely did,
as any soulful person always must,

and where I come from,
(an island
off an island off
the continental shelf
of Europe,
a little place forever
on the outer edge
of things), some
of the Celtic ways,
if that is what they were, lasted,
through centuries of spear
and swaddle, monks
and mothers, mansions,
cottages and bombs, dark
ages and enlightenment, all
the way into our own time. So

I grew up with the Cold War
and central heating, nuclear
threat and hippie love, yet still
knowing holy wells, fairy forts,
banshees, Lughnasa
and Bealtaine, the real meaning
of Halloween.

And then on my park run
this morning, my city park,
where I live now,
(a metropolis long
at the centre of things),
I saw a circle of trees, planted
in what they say
was the Celtic way,
to make a sacred grove
and marked by
what is, unmistakably,
a small standing stone.

I stepped into this circle, circled
the stone, and, full of wonder,
wondered: Who made this?
Which park worker by stealth, or
council boss by stroke of pen,
decreed that it would be?

Well, here it is.

The trees are thriving and
the stone attracts scratchers
with sharp instruments
to pen magic eyes
and half-literate declarations
of everlasting love. I've come back
to stand here now, an hour from sunset,
to lean against it into the glow
of a day not yet over.

And as I do, I know the stone
and all it stands for.
Like its big siblings: Stonehenge,
Newgrange, the Skelligs,
it will outlast us,
outlast probably
the knowledge of us.

As the sun sets in Gladstone Park,
this silent outcrop of an ancient way
of worship holds the rush
of our great city and the hush
of all the ages,

a monument to that
which is always
moving, never ceasing,
here, now, standing, still.

For me, a poem is a key, unlocking a moment in time and revealing the creative depths that every moment holds. Poetry brings us to creative presence.

Interested in reading more?

Orna Ross


Sign up below and I'll send you First Flush, a mini-poetry book in ebook and audio--and my quarterly poetry newsletter, Pause for Poetry.

Once you've entered your name and email address, watch out for my email. If it doesn't arrive, check your spam folder.

I would never spam you. Unsubscribe anytime.