Time sheep-cropped the grass, overthrew the fort,
and cultivated beech tree and briar on the palisade.
It split the fissures that grinned in frost-cracked lime.
The greened stone coiled – thousand year old
snake-bones walled under rain-fed moss.
I tracked the course and trailed through woods
under the sodden canopy’s drip. I splashed
over tumbled dyke and ditch by Buckholt Road.
Un-nested from cold sleep, sun-invoked,
and bound with ivy around its stony scales,
the West Barrow slept full of bones.
Besides its serpent path twisted,
inscribed ten centuries ago, and faded
between the coppice and grove.
A vanished homestead and byre merged
with gloss-tongued ferns; and knotted roots
in pale Oolite, weathered to a darker grey:
fossil clams, embedded there.
Rough-cut blocks, held unsteady purchase
along the edge of bounds erased
before Ordnance Survey triangulated
the arcing elbow of the scarp.
Half-lost in mist, half hidden in ghostly boughs
ammonite, enclosure, roman wall, ramparts,
and stone; decaying among scattered memories.