Beeching, Cumbria, Federation of the World, iron mining, Lake District, Lakeside and Haverthwaite, Peter Rabbit, Pleiades, plutonium, railways, steelmaking, technological change, The Plough, turbines, Wordsworth
(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.