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The beds of varicoloured reeds, fields almost,

stretch north and south along this bank for miles,

and westwards, nearly to Wales, across the wide,

silted river. Unseen marsh creatures scarcely

disturb the grasses. Egrets and herons

fly in and out of hidden lagoons.

Before silt, from here, the Dublin packet sailed –

with G.F. Handel and Jonathan Swift.

On the opposite shore are the ruins

of Flint Castle where Richard was dethroned –

‘…night-owls shriek where mounting larks should sing.’

Sun catches a window on Halkyn Mountain.


This year marks the first centenary

of the Amritsar massacre, the second

of Peterloo – but even now there are

doubters, equivocators, who minimise

the carnage, exculpate the perpetrators.


In the small car park behind us a car door

opens briefly – the radio announces,

in a public school accent, that there will be

never ending dystopia ‘until’

and ‘unless’. Today is the first of summer,

hot, windless, with dragonflies and bees

abounding. This remorseless marshland is

unequivocal – earth and vegetation

are ruthless, immaculate remembrancers.




© Copyright David Selzer
1 Response
  • Catherine Reynolds
    September 2, 2019

    These historic references make me think of how temporary our existence is. The years roll on into centuries, marking with their passing, the anniversary of one dreadful atrocity or another whilst the wildlife carry on their business, unaware of the devastation we create.

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