Wednesday, 24 May 2017

HOD HILL...


Hod Hill: A Previous Existence?

The teeming rain from an uncertain sky
Dampened the quest
To find the unheralded site,
Barely marked upon a map;
A sheep-grazed hill,
Behind a silent village at a daunting height…

The persistent rain from a hesitant cloud
Interrupted its cause
To leave the grassy knoll
Strangely unmarked from the road;
A soaking, windy fort
Above a solemn village church bell’s toll…

The unexpected sun from a rare blue sky
Afforded the opportunity
To explore the Roman garrison,
Cynically strewn with droppings;
A serene, trenched promontory,
Protecting a sober village of no comparison…

The inappropriate sun between such threatening clouds
Served its conspiracy
To deceive my receptive mind,
Chronically transported through time;
A sadness, longing tears,
Leaving a thriving village centuries behind…

ORDERS AND DOGS 
BARKED AT ME,
HAMMERS AND SCREAMS
DEAFENED ME;
HORSES AND LATRINES
REEKED ON ME,
LEATHER AND WOODSMOKE
PACIFIED ME;
BATTLE WOUNDS
SCARRED ON ME,
HOBNAILED BOOTS
SCRAPED BENEATH ME;
GUERILLA BRITONS
HID FROM ME,
DISGRUNTLED LEGIONARIES
FEARED ME…

The impatient rain from that looming darkness
Scattered the dream,
To disrupt a previous life,
Certainly stamped upon my soul;
A spiritual, military existence,
Guarding a village and love and strife…  

Pete Ray

It rained all the way to Hod Hill. When I arrived I asked a woman who was walking her dog where the fort was. It turned out to be on the only hill near the village. 

The defensive ditches were grassy, the wind howled but the sun showed and I was immediately affected by a feeling of having been there before. 

In antiquity… 

I was overcome. 

As I walked back to my car, the rain began again and during my subsequent stay in Swanage, it rarely abated, throwing up severe waves, causing damage to the sea-front and piling seaweed upon the sandy beach… 

Weird.

CROUCHING UPON HOD HILL...
TEACHING KIDS AS THE CENTURION PETRONIUS FORTUNATUS...
HOD HILL...




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