Mayday, and fine rain blurs
the small crooked field,
shaggy horned heads, hoot prints in mud,
the new season.
Partway down the field
two standing stones form
a kind of gate, guarding our entry
with carvings worn by centuries of rain.
Hesitants from another age, we trace
the lichen-eaten spirals, half afraid
half hoping to uncoil the spell
trapped at the core.
Oath-bound to this land's goddess
what festival do these grey stones still keep?
Bearded by cowhair, scratching posts
for shaggy flanks,
if they were hung again
with rowan and flowering hawthorn,
circled by dancers to welcome the May,
and there in the grove
how these old stones would quake,
we would feel the vibrations for miles
down to the sea,
and in the upper air the soft rain
would be gathering.
Cattle have gathered
in a circle around us.
Holding two sticks like horns against your head
you shake them at the cows. They have never
seen anything like it. Spooked,
they back off. And we
running between the stones,
pulled through the field
to the grove, fall
laughing, wet as leaves
in one another's arms. Spring goes
its ancient way.
Cloven hoofprints pattern
the soft ground where we lie.