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Timothy Donnelly




             For the symbolic structures which made sense of the monuments have rotted away –Mark Fisher


Off to Stonehenge by myself on a coach filled with others,

     couples and families with school-age children, the tour guide

indefatigable as steak and kidney pie, my Marks & Spencer

     chicken vindaloo sandwich nibbled on in the shadows (no food or


drink allowed on board), two canned G&T before a shallow doze

     against the window to the burble of my confreres’ deep-cut

Harry Potter trivia, a quick stop in Lacock—idyllic shooting location

     for two out of eight Harry Potter movies and as many episodes


of Downton Abbey, as well as for that series’ full-length

     release in which the town’s historic streets stand in for those

veining the titular (unreal) village through which George V and Mary

     parade royally in a big-budget set piece featuring 350 extras


in period dress, 80 soldiers on horseback (actual soldiers, the horses

     borrowed from Buckingham Palace’s King’s Troop), and one

modest royal carriage not wholly incomparable to our own luxury vehicle

     whose claret plush with azure speckles we return to undiminished


by the muchness as we zag through the chilly alkaline grassland

     used for military training now, sundown approaching as we climb

in silence to the stones, where for lack of any better idea we pose

     one by one in front of them like the Night King from Game of Thrones.

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