So Many Things

So many things, in ages past,
Have I loved about this land I call my own,
This England that bred me,
That made me, over and over,
’Til my very soul is part of the land.

Now we have cities
And noise and dirt;
Roads, endless roads, straightjackets on the kindly soil,
And cars, so many, busy speeding
From nowhere to nowhere across the landscape,
While their drivers look,
But do not see the beauty,
Talk endlessly, but do not stop to listen.
The more they do not see or hear,
The more disappears from the world I love.

Some things do not change.
New-mown hay still smells the same,
And the harebell nods on the chalk downs.
The seagull’s cry still tears my heart
With its aching loneliness,
And still I find a moment of magic
With a skylark singing against the sun.
Somehow, despite the odds, each year
The cuckoo makes its way to us
And mocks us with its call across the valley.

Hares still play in springtime
And deer slip through the trees.
Children still kick the autumn leaves,
And so do I.
And in winter I walk the fields,
My feet squeaking in the snow,
Listening to that faint hissing whisper
As snowflakes kiss the ground.
Lovers still walk in the lanes,
Carving their initials where they can,
Dreaming in the moonlight.
I can still feel the hush of a drowsy summer evening
And see the cows drifting, legless,
In the river-meadow mist.

Lesley Docksey is a lover of animals, campaigns and writes on war/peace, climate change, and the environment. She is the former editor of Abolish War. Read other articles by Lesley.