Poetry Corner: Vinquoy Cairn

Two of us enter

on hands and knees

through close dark passage

to round chamber of stone


thin light filters from

circular hole above

where layered rocks

draw up and lean in


fingers stretch out

to touch each side

the green dampness

of ancient walls


four low small rooms

from the centre lead out

in cardinal directions,

we pray to each:


fire, air, earth, water

then sound begins

in my throat

with my breath


seeping out from the stones

up through my body

resonating vibrations

of some other voice


strong and deep

a masculine intonation of

powerful prayer from

old earth rituals


then, slowly, softly

female song rises

harmonic waves

possess this space


body and rock

mind and place

resound as one,

in the voice


time falls away

I return to myself

and the quiet

and the now

and you.


Wendy Alford      May 2019

Vinquoy tomb credit Wendy Alford

Vinquoy photo credit: Wendy Alford

In their book ‘What The Architecture Tells Us’, Marianne Pollich and Elisabeth Holder have a chapter about Vinquoy. https://theorkneynews.scot/2017/08/20/what-the-architecture-tells-us/

Maybe Vinquoy will be included in the North Isles Landscape Partnership Schemes (NILPS) Neolithic Landscape of the Dead project ……https://theorkneynews.scot/2020/01/11/tombs-of-the-isles-community-archaeology-project-for-orkneys-north-isles/

And for more information, see the ever reliable Canmore ……  https://canmore.org.uk/site/3183/eday-vinquoy-hill

By Bernie Bell

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