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  Sally James
Enclosed is a poem inspired by Jennifer Compton's poem "For the Talking Statues".

The Standing stones of Stenness. Orkney

The Temple of the Moon.

These stones don't talk they just stare
out to a wild Loch, where seals play
in waters cold and deep.

Those bare-faced statues of granite
have watched generations walk around them
pray around them, they lean uncaring
as the North wind blows and batters
them deeper into the mossy earth.

Like old men they have tales they can
never tell, their past is embedded into the soil
were memories are rooted to an inner world,
another world, where time has stood still
and not one single clock has been heard to tick
or iron bell rung.

Only a faint chant across this treeless land
can be heard echoing the past
along the white wings of seabirds
that skim the crumbling Loch shores.

Immovable and fixed like stars
those tired and aching stones
tower the skyline, impregnating
the spirit of ancient rituals
into those who try to capture
the magic of a forgotten heritage.

A Viking kingdom, where blood
seeped into the heather and bones
fertilised the earth from thousands
of unmarked graves. This was the place
where oaths where taken,
vows made and sacrifices given
in the hot glow of the summer sunset
and the cold shine of the winter moon.


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