Unusual and delightful to turn up for a reading at Yellow Lighted Books, Tetbury, only to find a sonnet waiting for me, sent in by someone who couldn’t be at the reading, but who had read and enjoyed Silt Road. Its author hides under the far too modest pen-name Nizgal (which is West Midlands dialect for runt of the litter, so he explained when I wrote asking if I could re-print the poem on this blog).
Well, thank you Nizgal. Above is a photograph of the remains of Rowland Vaughan’s Trench Royal, a suitable image to keep your poem company.
Silted Up …
A water-meadow lay where stream and leat
Divided … split. Low-lying islet left
Retains the skeleton, the warp and weft,
From seasons’ lease; leazing and leaze compete.
Land-use that now acknowledges defeat.
The shaded outlines of the channels’ cleft
Are overgrown with widows’ weeds … bereft.
Lost husbandry, lost memories compete.
As life goes on old palimpsests re-scored,
New tapestries are woven into the ground,
To new designs receptive landscapes yield.
But still the past can never be ignored,
The earth records, plays back each ditch, each mound,
Grid lines land-locked beneath the playing field.
© Nizgal, May 2013