02 March 2007

walking from malvern

there's nothing here to anger or to shock
we know the way we've walked along the road
we know each tree each shrub each rock
we carry on our shoulders the same load

each time we come and go along this way
to school or work and always with a goal
even when we are making holiday
we place ourselves within the proper role

the road's cut into the steep mountain side
we see its slash from far across the dale
we walk it every day with some luck we ride
we're always responsive to a friendly hail

the world we know is a far larger place
that what we find in this confining isle
our feet are set to a far faster pace
that what is locally the normal style

with all these folk we have our normal share
our steps are governed by a standard rule
we do not note the freshness of the air
all we can think about is work and school

the names of people fade from every mind
the shape of hills and houses is forgot
we've left the place and people all behind
in other kinds of places is our lot

to those who walk all distances are far
but weariness does not follow on the way
we watch the swifter passers in each car
they give us something to think or say

each landmark tells us something of the time
how fast we've come how far we have to go
we're young and heading rapidly to prime
but that is not a thing that we can know

to walk more slowly reading in the light
keeping the brain alive's a thorough plan
much much too quickly falls the tropic night
and reading's no fit task for a true man

much better not to think and just to do
what one is told just simply to survive
that's the way to get over and through
to keep the body healthy and alive

there are no walls but we are all confined
in fenced-in spaces with a fenced-in folk
we keep ourselves deliberately blind
to all that binds us to our chafing yoke

to come as we do round the last great hill
to see before us the sea in its length
sets forth to us the limits of each will
the boundaries of what is reached by strength

behind us over mountains comes the moon
rising in triumph as the sun has set
we look on southward at the small lagoon
home of a small atlantis full of regret

that soon our journey ends another mile
before we reach the driveway and the door
we'll dump our bags in an unseemly pile
eat our meals and dream much more

under the willows in the voicing dark
are ghosts and spirits and the blinking gleams
of fireflies in the distance dogs will bark
and all of this will blend into our dreams

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