Thursday, 10 October 2013

Belle Vue Road Lament

An autumnal Edwardian apple tree,
Melancholy remnant of an orchard
And market garden in the centre of town,
Now razed to the ground ready for houses,
Its last crop of ripening apples,
Spread like tears across the sloping hillside.

Hardhats and machines doing their business -
The first steps towards brand new terraces,
While below the surface, badgers in their setts
Sniff an air that is changing faster than the seasons,
And feel a tremor louder than a landslide,
As red brick Stroud moves above their home.

Everyone has to live somewhere, I know,
And this pattern is one that has housed us all,
With Cotswold stone and Stonehouse best red brick,
Stretched across the valleys and the hillsides,
In industrial waves of development,
Now deemed to be postcard picturesque.

But every time we lose that rus in urbe
Green lung, open-space, Stroud-sensation -
Every time we lose some forgotten space,
Some edgeland with a revenant tree-scape
Standing sentinel through the seasons,
Then memory replaces the senses.

This is the paradox of modernity.

1 comment:

  1. Great! I was waiting to see a poem pop up here about the Bell Vue apple, after meeting you coming up to the battlefield. I particularly like the end about memory replacing the senses...this is poignant! how true it is when we are living in a modernised built-up world our senses become less important, less necessary, the artificial environment does not call to our senses it repels them-and when we do exercise our senses in this environment it is in a much lesser way, I would say our heads start to replace our senses at this point. Memory sweeps over us as the land is swept away! there you go, put that in