Here be ghosts
Introduction to ‘Here be ghosts’
This is another poem looking at places with variations of the Anglo-Saxon word for ghost in their names. It is suggested that place names form a kind of palimpsest, layered meaning to our landscape. Grimley was given to the church for absolution by a king. Grimescar wood is an as yet unexcavated Roman settlement. Skinburness slid into the sea. All that is left of Scuccan Hlau is a hole in the ground!
Here be Ghosts
The earth still abounds, with phantom’s remains,
Saxon palimpsest, ghostly village names.
Illusion or real, in name to preserve,
The ghostly remains, and spectre to serve.
Grimley from grima, Saxon for Spectre,
Ghostly woodland glade, his soul’s protector.
King of Mercians, gave up the ghost land,
So he with angels, in heaven could stand.
Yorkshire Grimescar wood, is spectre’s skerry,
Phantasm in glade, away with the fairy.
The ghosts of Romans, still trapped in the wood,
Wassailing flagons, found where they once stood.
Grimshaw in Pendle, small wood with a stream,
In centre of wood, they can’t hear thee scream.
Copse haunted by ghost, Saxon’s styled the wood,
For a thousand years, coppice it has stood.
Old Nordic skyrsi, Viking phantasm,
Skirse Gill in Yorkshire, is spectre’s chasm.
Dry stone pen over, earthly incision,
Manifestation, or ghostly vision.
Skirsgill Hill Cumbria, ancient settlement,
Its last standing stone, sings Nordic lament.
On industrial park, hidden away,
Used to be honoured, first Sunday in May.
Skinburness headland, on phantasm coast,
Saxon’s said scinna, where now we say ghost.
Village in salt marsh, with ghostly stronghold,
Then vanished under, into the sea cold.
Saxon Scuccan Hlau, was the spectre’s mound,
Became Warren farm, water hole in ground.
Fertile Nerthus earth, was taken away,
Spectres spirits ghosts, have had the last say.