augury doggerel

Wednesday, August 20, 2003


The grass had grown over where they demolished the houses outside town. Now, as if to fulfill a curse on the place, the land itself is being peeled off and rolled away. We will have an intersection here the size of a village, twin bridges spanning the banks of the mighty ring road, a centrifuge pulsing cars through sluiceways.

There was a girl here I remember picking fruit from a tree. A ladder under a tree. The girl climbing up into the branches. A giant yellow claw is parked near the trees she fruited.

A corner in town where another girl lived in another vanished home is a flower garden now.

Rudyard Kipling, 'The Way Through the Woods':

They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.

Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate.
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few)
You will hear the beat of a horse's feet,
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods . . . .
But there is no road through the woods.


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