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Once a country lane

Along the battered winding hedgerow
- And once a country lane -
Where barely a century ago
Lumbered slumbering wains.
Every sixty yards or so erupt
Stark poles for singing wires.
At their rooted bases
Hopeful thickets with briars aspire.
Both sides though the tractor
Has flailed all vegetation new grown,
For here the infernal machine
Dare not reach to get it mown.

Now all fruits and berries
Giving life to overwint’ring birds
Lie mashed, trampled and wasted,
Disdained by ruminating herds.
Finches, thrushes, fieldfares and redwings
Must go short or move on;
Their table scoured clean before them
All hard weather forage gone.
With no thought for those without,
The farmer guzzles his warm beer;
He feels a glow inside and grins,
Job done, for another year.

But two fingered V’s of suburbia
Reach out either side,
Planed into efficient tidy
Parodies of countryside.
Each bustle of sportive wood -
Not wild - spared by man’s erection
Cringes, oblivious of farmers’
Endless reclamation.
In the field, shuffling heavy hooves
Pulverise and grind the grass,
And no ghostly echo comes
From heavy horse that never pass.

© RM Meyer
Winswell Water, October 2020