Poem a Month for June

Poem a Month for June

Summer is here and we've reached the last poem chosen from the first phase of our Poem a Month writing competition.  We're now looking forward to selecting six poems to take us through to the end of the year.

Amanda Barton's poem gives us pause for thought on the importance and beauty of the natural world and its fragility.

For what is lost

I’d never heard so many birds
as on that day when the builders came.
Had I just not heard them until then?
I could not name them, say ‘Listen, that is a chiff-chaff.
And that’s a nightingale.’
But I heard their songs amongst the sighing of the trees
and amongst them heard my own voice,
laughing through hazy hot summer days of childhood,
when we were the builders.

We created our summer palaces
in fields of cut grass,
piling it higher and higher,
darting alongside spiders and grasshoppers
as we ran for more and more and more and more.
Daisy-chained days,
where night was banished by the unending light of blue skies,
where butterflies dipped and dived,
and dragonflies startled us with a flash of otherworldliness.

Encircled in our grassy homes,
we felt our bodies melt into the earth
and never thought of those to come,
with hard hats and hard words,
who would change grass for brick.

by Amanda Barton


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