Then to a modern world,
Stepping from the romance of steam
To the electrifying journeys
Crashing through Nature
Into the city. The music here
Is firm, work a day, functional.
This suburban land was the future –
Community life was a fine thing,
Something to do at the weekend,
An optional extra outside the garden gate.
Boredom no longer populated
Chapel anniversaries and faith teas;
We learned to mind our own business,
To wrap myth in old text books
left in dusty attic shelves.
To subject the exuberance of curves
To the invisible ink of tidiness.
All was structure, order
Always under surveillance.
The woods were wilderness
With their pointless paths
Meandering bramble clad to imagination’s edge.
Modernity could not tolerate
Meandering; to be pointless
Was to be dispensable.
The woods now house the comfortable,
Happy, all in order in their
Tree shaded compartments.
To extract the poetry from here
Is to wrestle with suet pudding,
To burrow into eiderdowns
To cry out in the curtained shades.
But the wildness clung to this life’s
Edges – the quarry in the wood;
The crumbling bomb shelters
In the wasteland beyond the gate;
The exposed moors swept by fires,
By Winter, by unforgiving winds.
We had words for none of these places.