Again the soldiers fill the valley.
Driven by necessity
The men forge cannon
And the women spin cloth for uniforms in their parlours
Soon, the snowdrops.
Young wives weave boots from palmetto fronds
And aunts save their piss
For the nitre that makes
All the sloshing about in tears
And furnishes the men in war.
Soon, the primrose.
The children in the little games
Have nothing to say of war
The older girls knit socks for the dying.
The young men cut up the bodies playfully
Notwithstanding history’s immanence
And not yet fearful of the waking
From their drunk and bloody spell.
Soon, the cuckoo
And the cuckoo-flower;
Arum and wake-robin
And navelwort and pennywort
And all the crazy flowering
Of even the monocotyledonous plants.
And in the lacunae between horrors
Much is fulfilled as the comedian entertains
And flaps the colours of war hanging
From rope made of Spanish moss.
By Dic Edwards
Information: Dic Edwards (born 1948) is a British playwright, poet and teacher of creative writing. His writing often touches upon political and social issues, nationalism and democracy.
Reaching out in unending lines
Houses of the valleys, all the same
In their uniform of dereliction and decay
Clinging on to the hillside, like old people
Clinging on to the old way of life.
Smoke rises from the chimneys
Catching the last fading sunlight
of the promising summer of plenty,
Falling soon to the sills in black sooty smuts
Where sometimes people sit and stare.
The empty streets echo in the silence
of tack boots on the cobblestones,
Black windows stare at me with accusation
Betrayal screams at you with her evidence
in the houses of the valleys.
By Ann Hughes (1992)
slate skies still gloomed
the slanting fields,
but timid pink smiled faintly
between the clouds.
catched to the hill’s green cant,
stirred in the mellowing air,
and misty pastures corsetted
by cattle-keeping walls,
appeared to meditate
upon their coming colours.
Deep in the valley’s throat
a tipsy tractor undulated,
loudly blue, defiant
against the earth’s brown quiet.
a whirr of pigeons
in arrowed flight,
climbed then dived
into the valley’s side,
melting in the solvency of trees
like the easing of a pain.
I trod the meadow’s ooze,
feeling the muscling turf
beneath my feet; then,
welcoming the simplifying air,
I took my first firm step
from the winter of your going.
by Vic Rees