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Posts Tagged ‘rural depopulation’

And they are still here
Still beneath the land
Protesting the desolations
As ravens do on heather banks.

And they are still here
Too proud to move or sway
Driven down, weathered and grey
As their own gateposts, slowly
Laminating, word on word,
One purpose losing its one memory.

And they are still here
Though always leaving.
The language of rivers
Muttered on slated lips.
Eyes closed,
Dreaming on hilltops.

They are still here
Initials carved on tumbled stones.
The neat hearth scattered,
Black earth, cold fire,
Comfort lost.

They are still here on
The cool breezed morning,
In dew bright hollows,
On silent roads
Sunlit, full of hope.

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LAMENT

The ones who cared for these graves
Are in their own now, or gone
To the churning, restless cities,
Sick of rain and creeping moss
And the lament of the kite
And lamb and buzzard.
Empty on the hillsides,
No small fires, even,
Amongst the tumbled walls
And broken doorways.
In its own green centuries the ivy creeps
And swells to cover all disgrace
And tragedy.
It clings well like nothing else can,
On the flat, grey slabs of day
And the gouged, dark ruts of night.

The ones here now – what stupid clumsy tongues
That cannot speak, cannot mould the sounds
To poetry if they tried, if ever they would.
Escaping their own shipwrecked lives
And cast up breathless and lost in beauty.
Who would think such inundation
So complete, so far from any shore.
These seething, roaring tides,
This wrack and seagull tattered debris.

In the hills small pools unexpectedly
Catch and hold blue patched skies.
The streams fist their names down into rock,
Enunciate the mad gush of seasons,
Lost and found and wrapped within
The dark and shining horizon.
If it can be nowhere else, then rest here.
Dust thou art, and the only food
For any futures there may still be.
The cold wind wraps itself around
And will not let go.
Soon will come the rain.

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