January 12, 2010

Marl

Under the road’s macadam, hard-packed soil,
But soil still. In clay old treasures sleep, bones
Lost, enduring, loath and cold. As elsewhere,
The earth contains a record, as with stones
Unfossiled by man: skulls yawn, dream of sun,
Of skies and breezes; coins, unspent, amass,
And a billion living creatures creep.
You may well walk above, or drive on roads
Laid over like a skin for centuries,
Beating it down with buses, forecourts, streets,
Yet underneath the earth endures, awaits
The sun’s return, the ploughshare’s blessed weight,
Surrender of its secrets to the light.