Starlings and Giants

Bury reporter, Lesley Downing, shares this poem having being inspired by a recent visit to Stonehenge:

Starlings and Giants

Starlings nest at Stonehenge,

Tucked in corners, between sarsen and lintel.

They soar overhead, scuttle in the grass

Round the feet of the five thousand year old stones.


They took a thousand years to lift and set in place.

Generations of neoliths

Digging, pulling, pushing, straining,

Sweating, hauling, standing, looking.

Great grey monoliths.

Skirted by coarse grass, daisies winking.


Four thousand years later, we stand and gape.

Strength and beauty. Unique in this world.

A testimony to shared purpose and faith.

Faith in Gods, faith in themselves, faith in their future.


Where is our shared purpose, where is our faith?

For two hundred years we have plundered this earth.

To acquire.

To build structures for our stuff –

Mammoths of steel and glass

Rivers of concrete circling, circling.

All for our ease, all for our need

To have it all now, this moment, this instant.

And the starlings live their brief lives among giants.

Giants that stand and witness what we do.

Will these stones stand for a thousand more years?

Will the starlings survive for a hundred more years?

Will we?


  1. I love this poem and Stonehenge. Back in 1971 as a very young salesperson my territory included Stone Henge, it was a like a triangular slice of cheese from London to Lands End. Clearly there were no customers from four thousand years ago…however one magical spring day I stopped at around 7 am on the road and got out of my car and walked across to see the stones. I can still recall the dew glistening on the stones and on the grass. These days that would be impossible of course. Thank you Lesley for bringing back that memory, Pauline xxx


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Advertise Here at Talking about my generation