Mike Boland



Dank and worm-rich,
Grimsdyke delves into deep woods,
sweeps through silver birch stands,
passes dark pools where Gilbert
died, saving the life of a local lass.
And it is peaceful here,
London a roar away beyond the hill.
Where the high ramp of Middlesex
falls away through fields to Hertfordshire,
robins sing across the winter, woodpeckers
yaffle in the spring, jays are a chatter all year.
Moles mine, foxes forage, badgers dig setts
and, in days of summer heat when leaves
droop like tired linen, the ghost of Gilbert
drifts along the Grimsdyke, singing as it goes.

(This poem previously published in 'The Dawntreader')

* Grimsdyke - iron-age earthwork / ditch
** Gilbert - Sir W.S. Gilbert, of Gilbert & Sullivan fame

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