by Peter Branson

Published in Issue No. 169 ~ June, 2011

‘Rise up, O Lord. May thy enemies be


and those who hate thee be driven from

thy face.’

(Inscription found on a fragmented strip

of gold)

The independent valuation came in at


That high-pitched wail

kicks in, heralds pay-dirt.

The shroud of soil

removed, it surfaces,

loud as a smile above

an open grave;

furrows of gold,

a perfectly-preserved

stillbirth, exposed,

keening and buttery,

just as interred. The field’s

been ploughed way back

where this was found,

our Dark Age past exhumed,

torn from the dead.

Was it rough politics,

a secret stash? The cross

was mangled; whiff

of sacrilege, bad blood,

knight sacrifice,

crude tit for tat;

ill fortune best left in

the ground beneath

the dowser’s measured feet?

He cried for help.

Light danced before his eyes

in shovel-loads.

Someone was listening.

account_box More About

Peter Branson has been published or accepted for publication by journals in Britain, USA, Canada, EIRE, Australia and New Zealand, including Acumen, Ambit, Envoi, Magma, The London Magazine, Iota, Frogmore Papers, The Interpreter’s House, Poetry Nottingham, Pulsar, Red Ink, The Recusant, South, The New Writer, Crannog, Raintown Review, The Huston Poetry Review, Barnwood, The Able Muse and Other Poetry. His first collection, “The Accidental Tourist”, was published in May 2008. A second collection was published at the beginning of this year by Caparison Press for ‘The Recusant’. More recently a pamphlet has been issued (May 7th) by ‘Silkworms Ink’. A third collection has been accepted for publication by Salmon Press, EIRE.