Culture

The Tomb Trail Is Go!!

By Bernie Bell

Readers of TON may remember a poem by friend Wendy about when she and husband David visited Vinquoy Cairn a couple of years ago.  I mentioned then, that Vinquoy Cairn might be a possibility for the North Isles Landscape Partnership Schemes (NILPS) Neolithic Landscape of the Dead project.  Due to Covid, this had to be put on ‘hold’. But what I think of as The Tomb Trail is now becoming a reality under a new name as they’ve changed the project name from ‘Landscapes of the Dead’ to ‘Tombs of the Isles’,  as revealed in a recent entry in the UHI Archaeology Institute blog…. https://archaeologyorkney.com/2021/10/29/tombs-of-the-isles-project-relaunch-on-the-horizon/

I’ll watch the development of the trail with interest, and hope to get to Eday, and Vinquoy, one day.

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 photo credit: Wendy Alford

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