Caer Caradoc

Like a grain of sand I cross your banks,
borne on Roman time and tides, too late
to stand and fight, with you, for life.

My feet scour and stir the earth you threw
upon this hill in vain; once proud
projection of your power, erect
(I imagine, at least) but now
soft and conquered, smooth mounds suckling sheep;
slopes made romantic by imagined pasts and feet.
A woman it was, I hear, who did for you at last.

Like a grain of sand I cross your banks,
and shape your fort, and feel your hands;
two thousand years have passed and still
I dream with you.

——————

Caer Caradoc is a hill fort and also a hill in Shropshire, in the West of England. It is named after Caractacus, the Celtic chief who resisted the Roman invasion of Britain in the first century AD, and is supposedly the site of his last stand against the Roman legions. He was betrayed by a neighbouring Queen and taken in captivity to Rome. You can read more about him on Wikipedia and about the hill fort here: Caer Caradoc.

I like castles and fortresses and this poem is one of a series which I haven’t added to for a while. I’ve climbed Caer Caradoc many times, and it is a good place for a last stand.