Battlestead

Battlestead walk warrior_FotorForested bluffs, these valley sides
Trent, Dove, Swarbourn, Blythe
Buttressed walls
Defending Needwood’s home
The forest plateau
Riven by scars, slashed deep –
The erosive ferocity
Of river, brook and stream
Yet lying low, discrete yet blunt
The rounded tops of Battlestead
On whose slopes, forgotten blood
Has seeped and soaked
Steep battlements cut
Deep ditches, high walls –
Wanderers repelled
All lost now under tilled earth
And swaddling pine;
This lookout, this belvedere
This sentinel point –
Eerily still, for now
It is the calm before the storm
Millennia have passed
Ice advanced, then receded
Meanders slipped back and forth
And churned and cut
Battlestead was born then –
Battlestead has watched since –
Yet now, a maelstrom of progress
Concrete, brick, glass and steel
The tree-skirt gone
The legacy lost
New towers are built
Her battle lost too –
And in her stead?
A brutal lesson.

Whipping winds

The God of Wind is on the throne today
The air confused, chaotic, a cacophony
Of trees stripped back to bark-bare
Fields rummaged and raked roughly through
Leaves wildly whipping in the wind
Thrashing in the thermals, like a comet’s tail
Or the glinting stars on a sorcerer’s shawl
Lifting, looping, landing
Like a Harrier jump-jet
A contredanse between bract and blade
Flat-footedly falling at my feet
Blocking up the brook’s banks
Crumbling crescents, dune-like drifts
Gluey, gooey, gummy
The fruits of the Summer season
Now the till for tomorrow