Commemorations

A Lament for Dorothy and Archie

Each little river has a tale which, if understood, cannot fail
To edify the Human heart; mine’s of Lovers who’d not part:
Both loved Nature, read her runes and worshipped countless harvest moons.
He, a Minchinhampton Man – she the lanes of Burleigh ran,
Eager, passionate, enthralled to embrace her Archibald.
The stream that gushes into town on Hazel Woods, as hail, crashed down.
High on that ridge where sheep are shorn, a tiny rivulet was born.
It seeped through soil and chiselled stone, caressing sea-spawned Cotswold bone.
A weave of light like soft silk shook became a dancing, babbling brook.
Through Gatcombe Park the waters curled, then through its stately gardens swirled
To trace a spiral as they whirled past Longfords Mill.

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Songs of Christmas Past

One damp, December afternoon, I biked out through Stroud’s featureless streets, Out along the Slad Valley to Bull’s Cross: Past pollarded willow trees all along the road, Past well wrapped farmers stacking logs in a dripping coppice, Past chapels turned to...

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Christmas 1914

Christmas 1914 There was, of course, more than one football match In the long line of unofficial truces That stretched all along the front in Flanders; Indeed, the matches themselves were a sort of climax, Punctuating the peace that started before Christmas With...

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Refugees and Remembrance

The November twilight ebbs away It is the same old ludic Time as ever. But a dead thing is grasped by my hand, A queer sardonic bi-valve – I pull it from the common’s rough track To place in my museum at home. Droll fossil, what on earth can you know Of national...

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