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Poem: Amesbury Archer

Books & Poetry

This week’s Poet’s Corner contribution, from Paul Turley, is inspired by the journey of the Amesbury Archer who was buried more than 4000 years ago near Stonehenge.

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Amesbury Archer

The Amesbury Archer was buried at Amesbury near Stonehenge
around 2300 BCE, about the time Stonehenge was being built.
Tooth enamel analysis suggests that he was born
in the Alps region of central Europe.
He was buried with the tools of an archer and metalworker.
Before Thomas Cook booked his first
tour, before Jesus walked in Palestine
or Roman soldiers tramped through
the wilderness of Gaul,

this man walked from Switzerland
to England through a forest of beasts
along the unnamed Rhine past an
unknown Paris and crossed the waters.

He trekked through the history of
everything that has happened,
across all the earth of not yet born
and not yet buried bones to

the great stone circle, new then
and busy with its silent purpose,
addressing the universe and
ordering the spinning world. And

there he stayed. Perhaps those
stones were a sign to him that his trek
was done and that this place was the
place where he would be from.

Here he lay down his bow and far
from the mountains plied his metal
shaping trade and fashioned
himself a life.

And we do not know much more,
as we never do, except that he did
that thing that we all do if the stones
of our lives are aligned just right,

which is, at the end to lie down and
go with a few small possessions
around us in a place that we have
made to feel like home.

Paul Turley of Adelaide was born in Wales, mostly raised in Adelaide, and is now living here again after years in other places. He is currently studying for a Master of Philosophy degree through the Department of English and Creative Writing at the University of Adelaide.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to poetscorner@solsticemedia.com.au. Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.

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