Saturday, May 18, 2024

The Water Meadow (A poem for two voices)

April 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Poetry

Tail flicking Wagtails, Yellow and Pied,
Darting, and catching their insect food.
Their young at their heels, begging for more.
Tail swishing cows cropping ancient herbage,
Their pollen covered hooves, and yellow lips,
Fertilising the masses of buttercups, and cowslips,
By disturbing the insects who help in the act.

The old footpath is now a tarmac drive,
The stream unseen in an underground tunnel,
Lines of chalets all neatly conforming,
With space in between for a shining four by four,
Mountain bikes, dogs on leads, drying towels.
Children happily running, shouting and playing.
Has anyone told them of nature’s way?

The Farmer’s wife’s Christmas Geese busily eating,
All growing fat to command a good price.
The Gander alert, and bossing his flock,
Head outstretched, hissing out warnings,
Then rushing to attack those not heeding,
Wings outstretched – half flying – half running,
Into the fray like a ship at Trafalgar.

The sculptured pond, with it’s quota of ducks,
Grass neatly clipped by a ten foot mower.
The tractor buzzes around now the ditches are filled in.
All geared up to progress, whilst making money.
Every thing done to please the residents,
I hope they are happy with their annual visit.
Do they realise that this is man’s way, not nature’s?

High in the sky a heavenly chorus as Skylarks hover,
House martins , Swallows, feed on the wing,
Ducking, diving in scintillating flight.
Plovers, and Corncrakes, searching the ground
For beetles, Lady birds, and Daddy long legs.
They feast, grow strong, as nature intended,
One species sustaining the life of another.

The old farm buildings have all disappeared.
Cow bays, Pigsties, and sweet smelling stables.
Now replaced with red-bricked executive suites.
No grunting old Pig with pink squeaky piglets.
Just shiny big cars, and plump city men.
Loud music, senseless laughter, and infantile jokes.
Replacing the sounds of animals, and nature at work.

The fauna stretching out in its infinite beauty,
Ragged Robin, Marsh Marigold, and spiky Mouse tail.
All growing together in jumbled harmony.
Their names competing with the beauty of species.
Meadowsweet, Pennyroyal, Cuckoo flower, Gentian,
Cabbage thistle, Buttercups, Cowslips, and Daisies.
Reflecting the centuries of nature maturing.

The Water Meadow now changed to a Holiday Village,
They tried very hard to make everything fit in,
But now it is as man, and not nature intended.
A century of nature, lost forever, by human endeavour.

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