Peter Ainsworth

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Train to Pen­rith

There’s a lot of Eng­land left What­ever glum peo­ple say - Acres and acres of it - but dull Even in Spring; bereft

Of hedgerows, wild flow­ers. Grim units of pro­duc­tion, Grey barns, an oc­ca­sional spread Of so­lar pan­els. Lost tow­ers

Of churches point­ing nowhere Punc­tu­ate an ag­nos­tic sky; Car parks, piles of point­less tyres And dull vil­lages where

I bet noth­ing hap­pens at all Since all the kids left, Bug­ger­ing off to find jobs. Mov­ing north, a dry wall

Or two brings some re­lief But the flat­lands of Mid­dle Eng­land (Which are sod­den and un­kind) Have lit­tle to of­fer but grief

For lives lost or missed Or now spent on wa­ter In nar­row boats; can canals Keep at bay the here­after?

Only if you’re pissed.

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