A gold and garnet button – a scabbard boss,
Interlocked dragons tangled round a swordless hilt,
A pair of pyramids, intricate in gold and red,
A golden stud inlaid with onyx, garnet and ivory,
A strip of gold engraved with some words from God,
A golden cross folded around cabochons
Yanked from their settings.
Almost two thousand pieces of worship and war
Pulled from the dirt of a Staffordshire field,
All broken, dismantled, twisted and torn
Yet beautiful — works of joy and skill
left in the dirt of a Staffordshire field.
A story was also dumped in that field,
A story of violence, now silent and closed,
A story of horror, blood and lust,
A story of beauty that lived on till today
In spite of the evil that buried it.
Fifteen hundred years ago
Fathers and brothers and husbands died
Screaming and bleeding in noise and in fear.
Now their ghosts, improbable and vague,
Haunt the glory of the gold they once owned.
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