On the Margins

Read this as you will. Sometimes, walking along the side of a wide piece of land, I start thinking about as much about the metaphor of the path as about the path itself.

Hedges & Edges

We go ever on the margins:
On the dusky ways between dawn & day,
On the tracks between grieving and dancing,
On the paths between sunlight & starlight.

We travel along the wheat field’s edges:
Between burned-out grasses & ripened grain,
Between plough-blades’ brutal mastery & the distant
Good intentions of flooded ditch & broken gate.

We tread beside the beguiling bind & twine
Of wildflowers blowing in the hedgerow;
Under birdsong murmuring from bramble arches
And the babble of skylarks in clouds of barley.

We step beside hazel-wands bent, laid & woven
Into ancient hedge tapestries by men with cunning hands;
Beside the shrewder wisdoms of song-thrushes & wrens
That build their nests in secret twig-forks.

Always we walk on the margins, on the edges
Of doubt, despair & giddy exaltation—
Any time & every time we climb the steep, slow hills of hope
Above, beside, those sunlit starry hedges.

© Lizzie Ballagher

new hedge laid to hornbeam, hazel and birch nr Hothfield2015-05-25 13.10.26IMG_1045