Out on the mountain wind lifted and the rain swept in
from the Severn Channel — I feared I’d be caught
walking peat boggy ground on the old Miskin Estate
I stood watching the rain filled white grey shroud
smear the dim domed lower hills and pass me by
I found myself listening out there to the wind blow
soughing its sighs through the conifer woods remnants,
blasted and flattened by the New Year gale that felled
the woodlands on the hill tops, the frosted high slopes
and in the morning after it looked as if a war had been fought
while we slept off the New Year party in the quiet of the hills lee.
after walking through the forests desolation I was reminded
of the bleakest Paul Nash painting, those shattered Ypres trees
and now fifteen years later the trees lie still jumbled and broken
the walls of the estate built to enclose common land
have fallen too and are now used in places to make paths
where the land is wet and poached by cattle hooves.
But although these long dry stone walls have tumbled
we have different kinds of walls to enclose us today,
the relentless addictive industrialised consumerism
that inflicts its message from the first day of a child’s birth
you need, you want and you will never get enough.
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