Not for the hard, life-denying graft of it

or the danger, not for the polluting smoke

or the banishing of bird song,

not for the exploitation and social

upheaval, least of all for its cannons

at Naseby, Bunker Hill, Waterloo,

but for its madness, the sheer reach of it,

the invention of it, the ambition,

the defiance, the rhythmical creak

of the horse-drawn gin pumping water

from the river, the sulphurous roars

of the furnace, the forge hammers pounding

through the ancient woods, along Offa’s Dyke,

their echoes dying…


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  1. #1 by John Chapman - July 25th, 2011 at 08:14

    Maybe a bit tenuous but, I wonder if, in years to come, a poet will lament upon the passing of high band radio/TV signals? ‘The banishing of birdsong’ rings true in our area since the advent about ten years ago of high band signals from Sandy TV mast, the array of communications on our water tower to do with the nearby Chicksands Spy Centre and several telephony masts which presaged the sudden and dramatic reduction in insect life leading to the loss of many species of our songbirds. We know nor understand what we do half the time until a voice of concern is eventually listened to.
    Have the birds returned to Bersham? I hope so.

  2. #2 by David Selzer - July 25th, 2011 at 15:24

    They have, John.

  3. #3 by John Huddart - August 11th, 2011 at 13:21

    But when the birds come back, which they always seem to do, does the human invention, ambition and defiance? Birds can always move on, but human things just vanish.

  4. #4 by John Chapman - August 24th, 2011 at 12:28

    Does human invention, ambition and defiance return? Only if there is money to be made, John, I fear.

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