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Thursday 26 July 2012

field and factory

Urban shortages
match rural plenty.
space and darknesses
unwinding slowly as I walk.
I match them one-to-one.

We, like prisoners
for whom the light
is permanently on,
grow used to its polluting rays,
the way they seep
more slowly in
to every fibre
of our milieu
than does all our walking.

Darkness exists nowhere but
inside - and that most secretly.

Space for us now
is space to flow
and overflow, to
realise the size
it has in mind for us.

The town is of itself
self-metaphor -
its own worst enemy.

The milieux speak
two common languages:
lullaby one day
and dirge the next.
We are constrained by this much more 
than by the hedgerows or brick walls.

Yet which to choose
(if choice is possible)?
Urban remembers light 
that rural never knew.
Yet rural sees the stars, can look beyond
the here and now into another space.

If we could only 
speak the distances between them,
there would be
no need of poetry like this.

In rural night
eyes follow
from the hedgerows -
are cameras on stalks in towns.


Mary said...

Lullaby one day and dirge another. So true and often such a gradual process as to be hardly noticed. Lots to contemplate here.

Jenny Woolf said...

I particularly like the last lines, very much sums up one of the big differences between rural and urban - the personal and the impersonal.

Daydreamertoo said...

This reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend's daughter a few years ago. She had laughed at another friend (behind her back) for not passing beyond 9th grade (15 years old) She said she had no 'street smarts' to get by in life and yet, this girl knew all there was to know about land, creatures, which trees were what, which plants you can eat, which are good for allergies and so on and so on, and I told the nasty girl: "She may not be street smart but, she would know how to survive in the wilds if push came to shove."
Urban or rural, I'm not sure either. I love the convenience of town life now but, do miss the peace and quiet of our old small (360 people including kids) fishing village life. And yes, the clear, dark nights to see the stars. :)
Another lovely poetical, thought provoking read Dave.

Brian Miller said...

wow dave, this is a stellar write...filled with hard truth ....seriously a fav of mine...

We, like prisoners
for whom the light
is permanently on,
grow used to its polluting rays,
the way they seep
more slowly in
to every fibre
of our milieu
than does all our walking....wow lots in there...and that very next line on the dark inside...loved it man...

The Weaver of Grass said...

I prefer eyes to follow me from the hedgerows thank you Dave.

Leovi said...

I like it, good job, great poem. As a young man enjoying the hustle and bustle, now I prefer the quiet of the countryside.

Rachna Chhabria said...

"lullaby one day
and dirge the next.
I love this line, Dave. Great poem.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

I share your view completely especially about the rural feeling of "spacing".

Carl said...

Excellent. I have thought it over.. I'll take rural with just a dash of urban thank you very much.

Cloudia said...


Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

Dave King said...

Very valid point. Thank you for it.

Yes, I agree. Thanks.

I can see those two so clearly. I suppose the relative pulls of town and country changes at different times of life. They have for me.

Thanks for this Brian. Good to know.

The Weaver of Grass
Me too. The image comes from a weekend break. We hired a cottage on Exmoor and too kour two young grandchildren, one of whom thought it great fun to equip themselves with torches and go for walks acroos the fields after dark - until on the very last evening he saw the eyes watching him from the bushes!

I would have preferred the country earlier on. Now I'm content with the town.

Thanks for this. Useful to know.

Much thanks. Good to know there's someone else out there who thinks the same way.

Excellent choice!

Not especially, but I suppose it could be.

Ygraine said...

Most of us are a lot like this, aren't we?
There is this outer veneer, this 'urban' part of us that we reserve for social wear; that is designed to please others and make them like us.
Then, there is the 'rural' part; the true-to-nature, who we really are, most private part. Only here can we just be.