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 ramblings and things


These are photographs of my villa
Taken over a hundred years ago
The streets look just the same
As those I used to know
When Fifty or more years later
That village was my family home
And i wandered them as a child
With streets and fields to roam.

They show a part of my family
Each stood by their front door
On the little row of cottages
That isn't there any more.
Condemned, demolished, erased,
New dwelling replacing the old
Some not yet quite finished
But each one already sold.

Large, desirable modern residences
Where once workers' homes had stood
The village of my childhood changed
But not necessarily for the good.
None of those posing for photographers
Could afford to live here these days
Once working village dormitories now
As they have adjusted to modern ways.

One farm worker  can do the work of ten
So you don't need the labourer in the field
And modern mobility means most villages
Are full of commuters or retired well heeled.
The orchards, allotments, garden meadows
That lined nearly every road and street
Have identikit  brick dwellings built on
Grass destroying foundation concrete .

Sometimes, unrecognised, i visit my past
Still enough unchanged to make it hard
To accept these days my family presence
Is restricted to graves in the old churchyard.
Maybe it's my imagination at work
But it seems to me a peculiar thing
As i wander those known streets again
I  no longer hear so many birds sing.

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