Monday, 11 November 2019

Throw a Penny in the Hollow of the Stone


for Wroth Silver 2019 by Barry Patterson


We don’t really know where it all began
Throw a penny in the hollow of the stone

Some protection racket in Saxon times
Throw a penny in the hollow of the stone

But we honour all those who came before
Throw a penny in the hollow of the stone

When life was hard for the people of the land
Throw a penny in the hollow of the stone

Now Knightlow Cross is long long gone
Throw a penny in the hollow of the stone

& how many feet have been turned this way
Throw a penny in the hollow of the stone

In a thousand years of gathering
Throw a penny in the hollow of the stone

A thousand breakfasts on a Winter’s day
Throw a penny in the hollow of the stone

A thousand pipes clenched in our teeth
Throw a penny in the hollow of the stone

As back to the pub we make our way
Throw a penny in the hollow of the stone.

In the 21st century we still pay our due
Throw a penny in the hollow of the stone

To those we bless & those we curse
Throw a penny in the hollow of the stone

While the great & the good in their folly are maligned
Throw a penny in the hollow of the stone

To the burden of their will we are still consigned
Throw a penny in the hollow of the stone

Not much has changed on this island of ours
Throw a penny in the hollow of the stone

Its the rich what gets the pleasure & the poor what gets to pay
Throw a penny in the hollow of the stone

& we become the forebears of the world that will be
Throw a penny in the hollow of the stone

The unwitting progenitors of future ceremonies
Throw a penny in the hollow of the stone

For someone will come to count our cows
Throw a penny in the hollow of the stone

& we’ll pull on our boots & pull up our hoods
Throw a penny in the hollow of the stone

We’ll be out on the road before the sun comes up
Throw a penny in the hollow of the stone

To stand before dawn on Martinmas Eve
Throw a penny in the hollow of the stone

& when the name of our town is called
Throw a penny in the hollow of the stone

We’ll clamber up the mound to pay Wroth Silver
WITH a penny in the hollow of the stone!



To read my previous Wroth Silver poems & find out more about this unique & ancient event follow these links:
2014: Martinmas
2015: The Road of Time
2016: Wheel of the Year, Wheel of the Land
2017: Eight Decades
2018: Ghosts


 

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