Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A lament for Scaldwood

You wouldn’t call it good land.
‘Tis a small and jumbly copse.
A bad hair day of woodland
Where the creeping concrete stops,
Where the bramble and the briar,
Serenaded by the lyre
Dance a rumba of desire
As the dripping rainfall drops.

Great Scaldwood, once your branches
Bade the traveller beware,
For your russet avalanches
Hid the wolverine and bear.
A great forest to be skirted,
Crow-fly journeys much diverted,
Where red, gleaming eyes asserted
There would be no thoroughfare.

Then with the stealth of taxes
And the filibuster’s frown,
Came the blows of sharpened axes
And the trees came crashing down.
Like a roadside puddle shrinking,
Your great fortress fell, unblinking,
To create a roadway linking
County Meath and Dublin town.

And now the once-great Scaldwood
Where the ringed wood-pigeon crooned
Is but a small, be-walled wood,
Obedient and cocooned.
In this wilderness neglected
The soft rain that has collected
On the thorny arms projected
Falls like blood-drops from a wound.

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