Ants and the Poetry Stones


The ants would appear to be no lovers of verse,
though if having a penchant, perhaps silly for
a rhyme like worse because they love the crack,
excusing the pun as I mean the cracks between
granite stones that really came all the way from
China to carry Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s words.

Walking today along the entire run of Kubla Khan
I see the skateboard grazes, mud traces of cycle
tyre treads, and footprints using Ancestral voices
and other phrases as stepping stones from path to
grass at the Land of Canaan where this poem lay.

Ottery’s Poetry Stones – the longest laid alfresco
poem in the land, though measureless to a man
from ‘The Guinness Book of Records’ because
unique: an obtuse decree – cannot deter the ants
whose triangles of mounded dirt rise between the
gaps that allow this curve of Samuel’s words to
make their igneous way along the tarmac track.

It was a while back that someone observed how
within these carved meandering lines a connective
or preposition was incorrectly placed, though
meaning is clearly not compromised as passers-by
follow unencumbered by error when girdled round,
reading for pleasure at their own casual pace.

Imagine Coleridge’s preference for the irreverence
of free-spirited scuffs: accidents instead of pedants.


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