Bulaun in Roundwood.
I drove through Roundwood, a place I passed a 100 times before
But there is always something else there ,so it goes
This time I surprise even myself, I turn left toward the reservoir,
Park in a local’s gateway, near by a gnarled path.
A Victorian gate in emerald green invites,
I step over the stone stile into the wood.
The lake furrows and blows through the pines
But here it feels safe on the path floor.
A sign hammered into a tree warns
The walker that this is an area of sheep and lambs
And if a dog wanders onto the land it declares
It will be shot “There will be no exceptions here.”
It is flat, a bland path, weeds, trees, reeds,
The only relief is an empty boat on the shore,
A crumbling woodman’s shelter with a seat
And a sign pointing to the water’s edge “Bulaun Stone.”
I bow through the branches and into the light.
An oval granite stone ready like a table laid
An implosion holed into its surface
A strange blight on its face.
A Face as if gouged by a claw, a ringworm crater
Where once a great smooth sea shore pebble was lifted.
This hole was smooth, contoured and recessed
The shape of the first force of the blow stilled.
And at its lowest point a little lake,
The last scum of the rains of summer,
Rising from its ulcerous depths , caked
Up to a level rimmed by a shore of crystals.
Past that rim and before the rock contoured away
A circle of cents balanced around that eternal fault.
One pence had lost its capture, succumbed and fell
Back In to the dark depths.
Something of a child’s fear stirred within me
Awe of ancient dark forces, of withered hands
Of some country piseog of good or bad luck.
I daren’t casually walk away, but returned,
I groped and sat down my cent with those
Who quietly come or came to pray or curse.
My modern world seemed weak and wrong
Compared to the implacable Bulaun – , simple, strong.
Strange that a deformed rock by a lake might appease
The brunt of birth, death, health, disease.