Monday, 17 March 2008

A walk in the spring - second and final revision

This is the third and final version of the poem that Poet-in-Residence has been working on over the last 3 or 4 weeks on the blog, in public as it were. The first thing to be changed this time is the title. The words 'March on...' have been added for their multi-layered meaning and to enhance the military aspect of the poem. The verse lengths have been cut and several phrases deleted. The idea being to give a more regimented feel to whole thing. It is after all meant to be not only a description of an afternoon stroll in springtime but also a warning against repeating the follies and excesses of history.

March on Oak Hill

Between the old bomb craters
the grass lies flat and is gray.

But pushing through the straw
the early cowbells -
like mice they are,
sleek and hairy to the touch.

Scrubby oaks
house tiny spiders
now lowering lines
to rosehip tangles.

Molehills litter a corner
where the moles are busy
building mounds for beetles
to explore.

On a wooded slope
in winter's wreckage
of wood and fenceposts
I find the violets
and pause
to inhale their scent.

The rustle of the zephyr
in the scrubby oaks
is like the beating wings
of a thousand butterflies.

A small white shed
stands with its roof caved-in
and the door and window gone.
Shadows wave on a limewashed wall.

And all the time I hear
the relentless chirps and warbles
the invisible hymns
and anthems.

Lizards sleep in craters
under mossy stones
and wait for warmth.

At the top of the hill a man
stripped to the waist
is flying a kite
for his family.

I crunch an abandoned shell
underfoot as I come to the top,
to the smashed concrete
of the old battery,
to the spent fireworks
of the New Year celebrations
to the March wind's icy blast.

c)- Gwilym Williams (2008)


  1. it's a walk we like do every spring, a lovely place

  2. i should have added that i've tweaked it slightly since your posted comment ... you'd hardly notice but i'm afraid it's a habit!


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