Castlerigg Circle, by Nancy Iannucci

Castlerigg Circle
by Nancy Iannucci

A howling sound of sorrow
wound around each stone
surged by the blow of the
great northern wind,

echoing in remembrance
of a tradesman’s aching

breath, a Neolithic gasp
that exhaled from primeval
lungs in heated, penetrative
spirals encircling his maiden’s
long, moss-scented neck;
he pursued her silken hair
like a Rapunzel trail through
busy Beltane trade gatherings.

One year he constructed a
small platform of stone
in the center of Castlerigg’s
bustling fair on which his maiden
would dance and sing for all
the days of the gathering,
a performance he stopped to watch
before bartering his chisel and scraper.

Year after year after year
he paused to see her
graceful spin atop
his stone like a wind-up
music box, around, around,
and around until the gatherings
ceased and the two

disappeared
only to resurrect, transformed
in an excavation of
rubble language spoken
in dust, axe head, and bone.
Learned linguists pen specious
tales of Druid altars and
virgin sacrifices ruled by the
mood of the moon.

In vain
The winds off of Thirlmere
and Helvellyn endeavor
to disclose the unsung truth
of a tradesman, his stone stage,
and his beautiful maiden performer.

Process notes:
I am drawn to myth, fairytales, fables, folklore and legends; therefore, I often find myself conjuring stories in my head in connection to ancient sites such as Stonehenge and Castlerigg. Who knows, perhaps a tale such as this did take place.

Nancy Iannucci is a historian who teaches history and lives poetry in Troy, NY. She has always been entranced by the mysticism of life and the fine line that exists between our world and the mystical. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Three Line Poetry, Red Wolf Journal, Rose Red Review, Faerie Magazine (FB photography), and Mirror Dance. She is currently working on her first chapbook.

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