‘Ancient darkness rushes in.’

From ’Newgrange’ by Thomas R. Smith, an account of a visit to a burial chamber in Ireland.

‘We know that cremated remains were brought here. possibly the flint-hewn basins were for birthing. On sunrise at Winter Solstice light plays down the passage all the way to the inner chamber for about seventeen minutes, assuming clear weather, which in Ireland one can’t. We imagine the shortest day arriving for those mysterious dwellers along the Boyne…

The guide informs us he’s switching off his lamp. Ancient darkness rushes in. We are blind in the earth. Now, slowly, electric light grows from the ”roof box” window over the entrance, lays down a ragged path, heavily shadowing the spiral incisions on walls. I hear myself letting out held breath as the weakly cheerful artificial sun relieves the tomb-darkness.”

Reprinted in ’The Analog Sea Review’, Number Three 2020.

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