Ides of March
Sometimes, as the sun goes down, the shadows close in.
You can sense real people, half-hidden in the mists
rising up from the ground. You shiver in their presence.
They fought a battle here, according to legend.
Legends never lie, though they hide away the facts,
as these mists hide those fallen warriors, brought
back to life, in the half-light, and thirsting for warm blood.
In the distance, blood flows staining the evening sky.
When the hairs on your neck rise up as wraiths, you take
to your heels and run to the place where you left your car.
Westbury White Horse, Badbury Rings, Maiden Castle –
such places are haunted with those whose spirits never left,
never moved on. They stayed here, defending the defenseless,
spirited warriors, never saying die, not even when dead.
Close by, at the hill’s foot, someone has built an altar
crowned by a small, carved cross. Who put those flowers on it?
Who came to bless the peace of those who dream and wait?
The Ides of March have come once more. Now they have gone.
Like all those other Ides before them, like all those years,
those seasons, those warriors. Come and gone. Or not gone,
as you stand there, sensing their spirits, living on and on.
Click here for Roger’s reading.
Comment: The Ides of March – March 15 this year, two days before St. Patrick’s Day. “The Ides of March are come.” “Ay, Caesar. Come but not gone.” William Shakespeare. Julius Caesar. The Ides always seem such a precious time. Sandwiched between St. David (Wales) on March 1 and St. Patrick (Ireland) on March 17, and all so close to the Equinox and the start of spring. It is snowing outside my window as I type. About four inches / ten centimeters down and more to come. But, with the lengthening of the daylight hours and the arrival of spring, we hope the snow won’t last too long.