The Lane Poem by John Rickell

The Lane

It winds its drunken way
as all lanes since Chesterton,
Hedgerows, verges, centuries old
green shoots in the fields
pheasants in the copse, waiting for the guns,
distant hills to north and south
too short as mountains, but
high enough on Sunday afternoon.

Roman fort and Saxon tumuli
I am not the first to stumble here
battles have been fought
two thousand years and more,
Hotspur died in Shrewsbury
Charles 1st camped down the road.
All today is calm.

Mackerel sky and sparrow hawk
black asphalt glistens in the rain
puddles in the road for childish games,
rotting hay waiting for the plough.
Half dark..... birds loath to fly
stake their claim before the moon's
cold stare silhouettes the oak.

The old beet factory gone,
two years passed, the site now
fenced in wire to stop the caravans.
I shall miss its steam and smoke,
Irish accents, mud and smells of boiling beet,
heavy lorries in the campaign season
tractors and their trailers.

Fields next year, rape-yellow
some, the blue of linseed
prettier than the beet,
how I miss the steam and chimney
in frost and cloudless sun, with
a dog a stick and whistle.

Jim Hogg 17 January 2014

Came here by Danny's rolling road, and found this to be a fine place to rest for a while... tangible location, richly four dimensional and characterful. Riven with a sense of loss that only mature experience can sketch, be torn by, but not ruined by - like too much of what we've had has been. Strong writing.

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Dan Reynolds 16 January 2014

Bloody nice work John. Very evocative and full of imagery.

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