Poetry Corner: Suffolk Solstice

Suffolk Solstice By Wendy Alford     July/Oct. 2011

The procession slips across the meadow

senses acute to birdsong,

blades of grass and buttercups.

Minds and bodies meld,

feet asking, earth giving,

all is opening in preparation.


Legs bend, leaning, to climb the bank,

walk along barrow shaped ridge,

amidst darkening trees to a mound.

Encircling energy through joined hands,

quietly spoken words, stir

into wakefulness something deep.


The circle breaks, threads its way

back towards the brightness,

returning to field’s swish of long grass

puffing off seeds as legs brush

past, till halting at the place,

the sacred space, of prayer and song.


Reforming the circle, the many become one

as breathing and heartbeat synchronize, the ritual begins:


And the light in our minds goes round and round

and the warmth in our feet comes up through the ground

as the sun goes in and the rain comes down

reciting of poems and passing the crown

through chanting and prayer we harness the power

pledges are given with herb and flower

Air, Earth and Water are honoured in turn

whilst Fire at the centre and incense burn.


The rhythm slows, bread and mead

are passed around, eyes raised to pale sky,

with final thanks for the wonder of creation,

eternal cycles, the Sun’s gift of life.

The ring breaks, uncoils,

green headdress hung on a bough.


Ritual players separate, then come together

as friends, share food and conversation,

before going different ways;

a connection remains,

invisible strands flickering through

the warm air, as the Earth turns.

wild flowers May 2020 Brodgar credit Bell

Credit: Mike Bell

Thank you to Bernie Bell for sending this in

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