Distance and the Loss of Magic

Distance and the Loss of Magic

There was a time. I can remember it,
when you could touch the stones.
When you could walk among them like the ancients,
when you could stand in the shadows,
even touch them, if you felt so moved.

I did. My fingers lingered
on the great gray monoliths, felt the sunlight on them.
looked closely at the north facing lichen.
On a foggy day, as you walked among them.
they loomed from the mist like gorgons.
You felt
the magic.

Too many tourists. Too many fingers on the stones,
and now they are fenced off for their own safety.
You can walk the perimeter on a groomed path,
taking in the temple from a distance.

It is still magnificent. Make no mistake.
But something is always lost in distance.
And it is always
the magic.

About this poem.

I am old enough to remember Stonehenge, and many other historical sites, when you could get close; when you could experience them as if you were there, then. For someone who feels an energy in places, there was a magic in that that we don’t experience in today’s roped off, too often virtual world.

So the poem is about that. But it is also about people, and when we are close and when we are cut off, and what is lost. Or about faith. Or about…. anything important.

It’s always the magic.



  1. My mother came from near there, so I have been past and visited many times and yes, being able to stand close was special, as it was in other ancient ruins I have been fortunate to visit. I love to just stand and think of the people who lived in those times. What were their thoughts? Were they so different? I don’t think so.

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