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Hunslet Austerity

(Lakeside and Haverthwaite railway station

Photo: mattbuck 7/7/2013 Wikipedia)

Once that head of steam was up, rails were laid

and Wordsworth’s wooed wilderness converged upon,

prelude to trucks toting plutonium,

criss-crossing the land; scouring surfaces

as deeply as glacial striation.

Then Beeching came and railed against the lines.

Coal, iron mining ceased; steelmaking shot.

Peter Rabbit quaking in his burrow,

anticipates fracking with timid twitch.

Turbines wave their arms quixotically

at those on muddied foot and cycle paths,

attempting to revolutionise health.

The golden keys open every barred door.

Geology is sacrificed to greed;

the hills afforested with money trees;

the night sky, filled with commerce, blinds poets

to The Plough, Pleiades, meteor showers.

We cannot hear the curlew’s stony cry

and now The Federation of the World

will never float the European flag,

but, ruled by those profit-hungry traders,

will talk us through its groovy projections;

will take us on economic projections;

leave us in a mistaken metaphor,

in a siding, instead of skimming on

to an optimistic mainline station.

Science no longer moves slowly, slowly.

Evolution morphs to revolution.

Wordsworth, proud of his skill to reach a point

rowed, unswerving to his destination,

dipping his oars into a silent lake,

before the ringing grooves of change arrived,

with consequent unknown modes of being,

bringing a blank desertion and darkness

to a landscape loved by the choicest minds.