A mighty edifice, built not of block on block, but grain on grain.
How many years? I run my hand along the black flints set in chalk, would read them as a blind man on a line of braille. The fossil claw and ammonite become a code.
It is in awe we know there walked a ruling species without words or law, as self-assured as I may tread this pebbled beach.
I raise my eyes to where the sun beats on the Downs. There the wind blows through the empty sockets of a ram. It moans an organ note so deep and clear – intones a valediction on the knowing sea and speaks a truth that I am ill-equipped to hear.
© Caroline Fox Betts