Mervyn Linford - Poet   


The Immemorial Elms.

I remember Bowers Gifford
When the countryside had elms
And the cattle browsed all summer through the marsh;
When the saws were wise on weather
And the sky was overwhelmed
By the rippling high cadenza of the lark.

Now St Margarets looks dejected
Even though the graves are kempt
And it's had the brave addition of a spire;
But there's something penitential
When the soul becomes exempt
And the spirit leaves the precincts of the choir.

There are still the turning seasons
And the rhythm of the land
That is punctuated yearly by the plough;
Many rhymes and many reasons
That we try to understand
Like the rhapsody of blackbirds on the bough.

In between the roads and railway
Down an old forgotten lane
There is still the sun's soliloquy of gold;
Where the shadows fall obliquely
In an effort to explain
How the evening light surrenders and consoles.

As I wander into autumn
Through the sauntering of leaves
And the pheasant's quick discordancy of sound;
All my memories are haunted
By the ghosts of former trees
That have turned decomposition into ground