By hidden river bank sweet cowslips blow
by Joan Teale
fanfares for elves; pale golden primrose, palled
in pleated green, vaults the shy violet.
My phantom foot falls upon trodden earth
and guides me to a rustling wooded dell
where trembling shade flutters each tall bluebell.
These ghostly feet of mine conduct my eye
to limpid light filled pools, braided with fern,
where rainbows kiss the gently sculptured stones,
until I find the swaying bridge that led
once, from great foot smooth rocks, beside worn steps
and linked the village street to church and grave.
There many lie who daily plied their trade
and on the Sabbath found familiar pews
pondering appointed rest in lychgate calm,
or conjuring the faces of their loves.
Calamity has fallen on the stream
until both street and graveyard sadly lie
in waters, deep beneath a man made lake.
On droughtful days poor seeking village spire
points to lost joy of humdrum paradise
that I have known and cannot know again.