Wilderness 2001, 2021

You see

            a land wraithed in smoke and the stink of death

You feel

            man's determination dulled by desperation and

            the hollow, guilty hope that the creeping fate might end

            at a neighbour's door.

You cannot farm in the present

At least not in Wales.

The hills were silent memorials to herds brought low,

Uncropped: a tragedy of grass grown longer than memory could ever tell;

In the yards, and at the hearth, silence bears witness

To the end of all that generations have bequeathed.

It is ended; how can life - and history - be raised anew?

Leave it, leave it...

Who, but the farmer, would start again?

Even in richer English valleys life lies low,

Depressed by death and loss.

In Wales, where wealth is tenured only in the land,

There will be no rural rebirth, no future.

What point?

We have farmed our subsidies too long,

Know they will not crop again.

Stranded without heed or hope or help:

There is no present in farming

And can be no future.

Our hills are the burden left by a lost Europe.

To live in Wales is to be conscious

At our dusk only of the lost causes

That our wild sky could not embrace.

BrexitCattleCymruEUEuropeFarmingfoot-and-mouthHill farminghillsLandSheepWales

◄ The Consultant (Revelation, first draft)

Passing ►


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Paul Welsh

Sat 29th Jul 2017 09:52

melancholic clearances

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