Monday, 8 June 2015

Grange Fields and Uplands

I like the way Uplands and Grange Fields meet:
It’s that characteristic rus in urbe Stroudwater feeling,
Where mill hands once trod the streets of the town,
Then courted in the fields on Sunday.

I like the way Grange Fields carries Stroud’s history:
The spring at Hawkwood, trickling down to Badbrook,
Where clothiers were once ducked all those years ago,
During the Stroudwater weavers’ strike of 1825 …

If you build on this field,
Springs will o’er-turn your water table,
Labourers will harrow your dreams,
Cut ridges in your anxious brow.

If you build upon this field,
Weavers will riot in the night,
Stretch nightmares on tenterhooks,
Turn your eyes Stroud Scarlet.

If you build upon this field,
Streams will burst their banks,
Flood your conscience with remorse,
Leaching stains of turbid regret.

If you build upon this field,
Grass will grow in your pockets,
Celandine in your bank vaults,
Weeds in your account books.

But if you build on brownfield sites,
Sums will grow within your ledger books,
Goodness will grow within your heart,
And generosity in your soul.

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