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Tuesday 16 October 2012

Gaps the Great Storm Left

Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the great storm - the hurricane that cut huge swathes across the South of England.
Among the beech this patch of birch
that seems to radiate its light
into the darkness of the beech
the great storm left untouched. Man's gift -
for man it was who made these woods,
and in that gloom no undergrowth
succoured those other forms of life
which here are manifest. Here birch
is thin, allows the wood to breathe,
and welcomes brambles, bluebells and 
a score of other plants. It throbs
with life - the life of butterflies
and bugs of every shape and size.
Among the brambles : burrowings.
And on a sandy patch, a snake -
a grass snake (was it?)- slithers from
my view. Everywhere is movement.
Life forms I cannot recognise.
Yet from the ways they come and go,
their oh, so strange activities,
I'm sure there is a fairytale
enacted here. The birds are part
of it, for they are full of song.

Away from here, are other lands
the great storm cleared, not left to heal
themselves with nature's help, but by
the hand of man. They have regained
their former beechy darknesses,
their former states. I do not put
to you, dear reader, which is best,
but only the point a difference
between the ways of God and man.


Brian Miller said...

i think that even in our good doings at times we muck in things we should not you know...i think back to the finding of the god particle and what will we do with that....that being said i think joining in creation is a spiritual thing...but a fine balance as well between that and playing god...

Tabor said...

We try to perfect what nature has done...but nature thrives in chaos.

Anonymous said...

Always hard to say. Nature will out sometimes but you can understand people familiar with a certain setting wanting it back. We live near a stream that was very affected by a flood and similar issues, and similar quandaries. On iPhone so won't go on, but it is an interesting dilemma. In our case we were sort of in favor of wild stream but trout fisherman worried that the more diffused state post flood would cause the water to warm up too much. Who knows? I think If the water wants to spread out it just might though. Very interesting poem. K.

Scarlet said...

Lovely reflections on the ways of man and God ~ Nature is always moving, chaotic, yet renewing after its destruction ~

I think for all our advancement and progress, nature has a way of making us small and insignificant, specially during storms ~

Claudia said...

the difference between the ways of god and man...really tight piece with a great flow and you managed to capture the storm atmosphere as well..the inclusion of the snake and the nod to fairytales gives it a mystic touch as well

Jan Mader said...

Lovely poem that lends itself to thoughtul consideration. Nature has a way of making us humble.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

I enjoyed this, the way it flows so naturally in its conversational tone. Maybe it's because I am working on it now at school...but echoes of Romantic poetry are strong.

Eileen T O'Neill ..... said...


I remember very well those storms. We had serious incidents in Northern Ireland as well. The father of my next door neighbour, was killed in a dreadful traffic accident, due to the rainwater and thr winds of that night...It was like the end of the world predictions, had come to be fulfilled.

Cloudia said...

fairytale enacted with bird collaboration; nice.

Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

Elephant's Child said...

I would vote for nature each and every time. Not always the easiest, but ...

haricot said...

Your words are sometimes strong as God and sometimes fragile...Nautre makes us know what is awe.

Jenny Woolf said...

What an interesting poem. It evokes a sense of mystery which I like, but more than this, it has an interesting idea behind it. Your poems so often do.

Dave King said...

I go with all that, particularly the joining in creation being a spiritual thing. That must be true the way I see it. And yes, the fine balance, certainly - perhaps the most difficult part of the act.

Both true: we do and it does. Maybe that's the trouble - we have just never managed to get comfortable with chaos.

I think I'm with (the collective) you on this: my instinct would be for the wild stream. I would worry about trying to tame the water - it tends to bite back. Think of all tributaries to theThames. They culverted them in places, ran them underground, but up they came - and are still coming in places) - between people's floor boards.

I agree. The hand of man goes not HAVE to be a downer, but I go back to Brian's comment: the sense of balance is all.

Thanks Claudia - especially for bringing out the mythic/fairtale aspect.

Thanks Jan. Good to have your thoughts.

I find this a very pleasing comment - especially the overtones of Romanticism. Thanks for that.

Yes it was pretty guesome alright - says he who slept through it all! Thanks for the observations.

Ah, you canna beat the birds, thou knows!

The Elephant's Child
Yes, if it became a straight choice - no contest!

Tremendous last sentence. Love it. Thanks for.

Ygraine said...

Gosh yes, I remember that storm well!
We were fortunate to escape any major damage, just one fence down, a demolished greenhouse and a few ridge tiles lost.
The power of Nature is awesome!

Linda said...

You have a wonderful way with words, Dave.

Dave King said...

We were even luckier. A large tree on the square, just feet from our garden fence came down. There was debris everywhere, and we lost only one roof tile!

Dave King said...

Thanks very much for this.