One of my favourite things to do is seek out graffiti marks left by past people; initials and pictures scratched with painstaking care. What were they thinking when they did it? Perhaps lovers wanting to leave a physical commemoration of a meeting. Or someone so angry with circumstance that only gouging into the stone will make them feel better.

Some go for the straightforward etching of their name on tombs and monuments;

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Whilst others leave marks in the stone that aren’t so easy to decipher. Are these masons marks, purposefully left, or just accidental slips of the chisel?

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Some are just destructive (step forward assorted Roundheads and parliamentarians – I may salute your ultimate aim, I do not salute the trail of damage left in your wake):

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There are hidden myths and stories in the stones that we’ll never know the answers to, and I prefer it that way.
The Ancients of the World by R S Thomas

The salmon lying in the depths of Llyn Llifon
secretly as a thought in a dark mind,
is not so old as the owl Cwm Cowlyd
Who tells her sorrow nightly on the wind.

The ousel sings in the woods of Cilgwri,
Tirelessly as a stream over the mossed stones,
Is not so old as the toad of Cors Fochno
Who feels the cold skin sagging round his bones.

The toad and the ousel and the stag of Rhedynfre,
That has cropped each leaf from the tree of life,
Are not so old as the owl of Cwm Cowlyd,
That the proud eagle would have to wife.

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