Size / / /

What we build upon this plain will grace

it for eternity, a silent ring

of watchers carved from stone.

We who know the paths of moon and star

must show the way. Thus we lead

our people forward, patient and ponderous.

We persist, though the weight be ponderous,

moving stones through the grace

of ropes and trees and weights of lead.

Throw the lines through the ring,

spread them out in a star,

and pull into place each standing stone.

The carvings on every stone

fit them together, perfect and ponderous,

tongues fitting into grooves. The day star

rises and sets; its golden rays grace

our work as we raise the ring.

Our eyes follow where they lead.

Quickly now, throw the lead!

Take the measurements, settle the stone

into its space. Every part of this ring

must be precise, however ponderous.

Only then will its hidden grace

reveal the place and passage of each star.

Solstice and equinox, moon and star—

this great circle will someday lead

the way, keeping time by its grace.

All true things are known by stone,

whose wisdom is grown ponderous

with its rounding of the year's ring.

At last, the bells ring!

The light shines; white flowers star

the green grass. The ponderous

task is done. Where we have led,

our descendants will follow, guided by stone

and the ghostly remnants of our grace.

I step into the finished ring to bury the lead.

My soul is light, my body heavy as a star stone.

I can die happy now, embraced by their ponderous grace.




Elizabeth Barrette writes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in the fields of speculative fiction, gender studies, and alternative spirituality. She serves as Dean of Studies for the Grey School of Wizardry. She hosts a monthly Poetry Fishbowl on her blog. She enjoys suspension-of-disbelief bungee jumping and spelunking in other people's reality tunnels. You can email Elizabeth at ysabet@worthlink.net, and see more of Elizabeth's work in the books Companion for the Apprentice Wizard and Composing Magic, and in our archives.
Current Issue
10 Aug 2020

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Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Anya Johanna DeNiro's “A Voyage to Queensthroat.”
When your people came down from the stars / we put you in jails and cellars and basements
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Issue 20 Jul 2020
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17 Jul 2020
Strange Horizons is now accepting fiction submissions for our Mexico Special issue, which will be published at the end of November 2020!
17 Jul 2020
Strange Horizons lanza su convocatoria en busca textos narrativos para su Especial de México, que se publicará a finales de noviembre de 2020!
Issue 13 Jul 2020
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Issue 6 Jul 2020
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By: Thomas White
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Issue 15 Jun 2020
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Issue 8 Jun 2020
By: Kathleen Jennings
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By: Keaton Bennett
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