Small things

Our private wilderness

Cleaned and rearranged

A parade ground of trees

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Rows of saplings

march in spindly ranks

across the wasteland.

Once the rusting girders

of forgotten engines

lay beneath a dancing riot of creepers.
Sleepers

silver grey

slept

among the flowers,

the debris of an era

fragments of a busy past

washed clean by rain

and scorched

of all the oil and soot and noise

by summer sun.

Quiet now, picked clean

wood and iron revert.

But the saplings march

and in the van the diggers dig

clearing land billiard table flat

and the memories are dragged away

and buried

where the murmur of their voices

won’t disturb the joggers.

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They dug up the field

Where long meadow grass

Cradled old boats laid to rest

Their paint faded forget-me-not blue

To plant rows of tidy trees

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There was a place

Beyond the town

Where grass grew tall

And a thousand birds sang.

Where tram rails rusted

And boats with gaping holes

fell quietly apart

beneath a sprawl of speedwell.

But chaotic nature jars

In a tidy town

where parks and gardens

with cycle tracks

and explanatory notices

large as tombstones

are so much safer

Than a quiet temple of memories.

 

Space is

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Space is

what isn’t .

The bits inside

between

around the edges.

The bits we don’t see

a void to be filled

by something more worthy.

 

In the space between things

stars grow and wild grasses.

Stray cats take the sun

and sparrows squabble.

Flowers grow tall and unheeded

around unwanted white goods

and the rusting carcasses of old vans.

 

When all space was ours

we wandered the zone between

and found wonder in tiny forgotten things.

The sun fell on our faces

and the soft rain

and our ears were full of birdsong

and the crooning of the stars

on moonless nights.

 

Now there is your space

and my space

two planets orbiting

never to touch.

My space fills

with memories of you

and the colour of your touch

the chatter of sparrows

and the swift sweet scent of thyme.

And your space

swings out of reach

arid and empty

to join the great vastness

of the place in between

the beating of broken hearts.

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