Poetry – Back to a different age

Back to a different age

The Corona virus has sent us into isolation

But also back to a different age.

Today, with the sun on our faces we set off to follow the beck.

Starting at the mere with its island,

Past the old millwheel which ground many a sack of flour,

Past the church with its graveyard, built on the flat mound,

Surveying the town, reminding all that death comes,

Overseeing a community that now largely sees it as history,

Another relic from a bygone age,

Past the ducks and swans and seagulls wheeling overhead,

Through the gate and on to the path

And back to another age where time moves more slowly and nothing changes fast.

The beck, with its crystal clear water running over chalky white stones, runs fast;

The sun creating ripples of light that play with the wavering reeds

As trout dart and hang in its currents.

Along its banks the trees have planted their roots firmly in the soil

Asserting permanence, their skeletal branches, touched with a green sheen

As the first buds are slowly opening to reveal the nascent leaves.

The hedges now a billowing snowdrift of white May blossom

From which finches, tits and sparrows loudly proclaim their presence.

The beck runs through green meadows with cows that curiously chew and watch us pass,

Sheep who warily keep their distance, and strutting crows who scour the ground for morsels.

It runs through ploughed fields, now turned by tractors, brown with ruts of rich russet soil.

Above a solitary buzzard circles, searching the ground below for a meal.

Across the beck there are occasional crumbling brick bridges festooned with ivy and creepers.

We walk the path over hummocks and mole hills, past yellow glowing celandine, dock, nettles and wort,

Past burrows and reed banks, exposed roots, fallen trees, logs and hay,

Back to a different age,

An age when men and women farmed and nature blossomed,

When there were no sounds of machines

And the community came together in the sunshine

With different values, different aspirations

And time to appreciate what they were surrounded with.

It felt as if Covid-19 has opened a door into the past.

Opher – 4.4.2020

Hopefully at least something of this tranquillity and harmony will last into the future. It makes you aware how much we have lost in this modern idyll. We charge around having fun, buying stuff and living in comfort – but where’s the fulfilment? The meaning?

What’s the point?

It’s nice to visit with the past. Perhaps it will inform the future?

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