Sunday, 27 February 2011

On Swifts Hill

"When I saw the photograph taken from Swifts Hill posted on 15 February, this poem, written last week, seemed destined to join it!" Sheila Maddock 2011

Wildlife haven, place for picnics, Swifts Hill
Guards the gateway to Slad. Here you can gaze
Miles to the silver ribbon of Severn,
Plunge through beech woods to the valley below,
From the hummocky top hear skylarks sing,
Watch kestrels hover, housemartins soar and
Swifts swoop as they circle their feeding ground.

Underfoot is a carpet of flowers,
Orchids and other rare species, food for
Once common butterflies, moths and bees,
All dependent on this ancient grassland,
Fed by minerals in its limestone bed.

Farms in the quiet valley below doze
Unsuspecting in their patchwork fields, while
In the hazy east, suburban Stroud snakes
Voraciously towards Wades Farm - and Slad.

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