It wasn’t a village, just a hamlet
of five houses and two farms,
a high place of wind and snow
and tepid sunshine,
and all along the horizon the hills strode,
carrying rocks and sheep and dry stone walls
from time was
to what will be—
my childhood home.
There was peace among the hawthorn hedges
where foxgloves grew and blackbirds
and the wilderness of stream
and young birchwood beyond,
all gone now
beneath functional tarmac and four car families,
the wilderness tamed for bridle paths,
and the sheep have gone the way of the cows.
Perhaps that is why I love this place,
this here of mine, stamped out of memories,
mine and old folk’s I never knew,
still quiet and green,
the hills closer, softer and the sun warmer,
but the peace drops the same,
like honey or an owl’s downy feathers.