Poor Kilnsea - Poem by Pete Crowther
Our little village that we call home
is not important, large or rich,
two dozen cottages at most,
a farm or two, a failed hotel,
no shops, no post office, or bus
but yes, we have a splendid pub
and lots of fields that lie between
the sea and Humber estuary.
When summer comes the hay is cut,
the crops are duly harvested,
and pasture’s grazed by cows and sheep,
a place of peace much loved by those
who come to 'bird' or just relax.
Each year the sea extracts its toll —
two yards at least of crumbling cliff,
we live with this and on the whole
feel safe enough for we rely
upon our modest sea defences.
But that alas was in the past,
for now, out of the blue, we learn
from those empowered to protect
that future policy will be
to abandon Kilnsea to the sea:
we are too few, lack industry
(forget the lifeboat, pilots, ABP,
they do not count apparently) ,
no, we are not worth defending,
nor can the costs be justified
of building or repairing banks
to stand against the sea’s advance.
The price, they say, of building these
outweighs the value of our village.
Poor Kilnsea is expendable, you see.
Forget the reign of King Canute,
Today accountants rule the waves
And money is their only yardstick.
It is ironic that the money
that could protect us and our village
will go instead to two lagoons,
the habitat of saline worms
and various small Crustaceae,
that lie nearby and constitute,
we’re told, a triple S.I. — oh my,
there must be a moral somewhere here!
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