What stood here
Where three roads meet
Before those twenty feet of sharp-cut stone?
How many of its litany of loss
Once sat here, as I do,
Savouring a glass
In the long day’s golden hour?
And in that far-off hell
Was this the heaven
That sustained them:
The lych-gate, church, high rectory walls,
The copper beech’s vaulted roof
And this old pub, dark, square and snug,
Infused with wood-smoke, ale and song.
Now as the half-hour chimes
And blackbirds hymn the April sun to rest
Would they sleep easy
Knowing that this little land
They loved and left for good
Stood ready to renounce the bonds
Of faith and friendship they once forged
Fought and now stand remembered for
Where three roads meet,
As we, their proud inheritors,
Consider parting ways?
Sitting outside a local pub last night, I found myself contemplating the war memorial (difficult not to, actually, since it’s right in the centre of the village and really rather enormous) and started jotting down a few thoughts that accidentally became a poem. I’d promised myself I wouldn’t write about the whole EU referendum mess we’ve been landed in by our glorious leaders, but I ended up doing just that. The EU is far from perfect, of course, but the idea of ‘plucky Britannia standing alone’ is one that, to my mind at least, is now way past its use-by date. N.