The Hoarder

by Simon Fletcher

Bent and twisted gold threads,
war-booty, plunder, taken by right;
blood red garnets from Byzantium, they say.

Surge domine et disepentur inimici tui…
Rise up, O Lord, and may thy enemies
Be dispersed…
We’ve done a good day’s work today;
each piece is one less enemy of Mercia;
our lord will be most pleased.

This cloth and box should do the job.
Sword pyramids, pommels, hilt plates,
dogs and serpents interlaced, crosses,
intricate bead work in cells;
fine filigree, glass beads from the Celtic west.

This clearing by the old Roman road will do,
dusk is falling on the silver birch, purple heather.
Here’s a place, I’ll come back soon.


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Simon Fletcher OsloI’ve been pasionate about poetry since I was at Kidderminster G.S. and found the topic of the ‘Staffordshire Hoard’ simply too good to overlook. I was compiling an anthology of the ‘Poetry of Staffordshire’ with Emma Purshouse for Offa’s Press and in the end it was decided it had to go in. This sort of mystery is fertile ground for poets.