Island of Lives

There are regrets with every parish boundary:

Granite bricks riding over the douit

And water careening in keen esprit.

There are stories at every farmhouse,

Staked in white all those centuries ago

By men and women in earnest pursuit of the land.

There is erstwhile affection with every dolmen

Which stood to enclose the departed members

Of those families with land-toughened hands.

There is smoothness over every cobblestone,

Worn to wisdom by manifold generations

Of feet and shoes and hearts and minds.

There is peace on commonland of elfin green

Dappled yellow with gorse and celandines.

Youth in every lane

Where children ran and played,

Screamed and grumbled,

Kissed and tumbled.

There is melancholy mirth with the rain

And eager glee with the shine,

Converse as ever and never conceding.

There is sorrow, moreover, with those bypassers

To whom affairs connote more than yesteryear’s fantasy.

They step out past these marvels of old,

Never observing, and ever-unheeding.

Just beneath this engrossing layer of shallow turf

Is the great earth and the land: interlaced

Lives, loves and laughter.

The End

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