Long Meg and her Daughters

Stories abound of heretics, witches, Druids,
and countless tales are lost of good and ill
far back, far back. A new one is put forward,
a wish I heard made on a Cumbrian hill

by Long Meg and her Daughters. For an instant
a family woke. In a whispering silence
a mother bid her children take a stand
against a plague of hate and wanton violence.

Near sixty of them, in a far tumbling circle,
and she above, apart. And every daughter
stood witness to a hope – and still they rise
as one against the race’s tribal slaughter.

Can we escape ourselves? What will it lead to?
What is this dust-storm that chokes and corrodes?
Then it was axes, slings, the first proud armies,
now it is megatonne flash and nuclear codes . . .

and soon? The secrets of war will spread, will spread,
but there’s a code that keeps its peace. The intent
of a new story, or a new name, can alter,
yet still link with whatever was first meant.

Who knows what they first came for? Here, in a circle
of stones that lay a truth out, lies revealed
a hope for good upon a Cumbrian hillside.
Here is the strength of women that does not yield.

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