Seven point five

A boot-sucked drop
down through Views Wood,
across a mud-scuffed bridge,
and the ditch in half-flood,
I clamber, not climb,
up the leaf-pressed path,
the rooted friction
is the step and staff,
then led straight on
by the hawthorn hedge,
the sun a million miles
off to my left,
and on to the centre
of a man’s dictate,
under an oak
into the ‘Private Estate’
of neat-lopped birches,
a graze-readied patch,
across the tarmac
past Buxted House,
a hotel for a night,
I wait to wake one time,
where the haa-haa dips,
where the grazed declined:
Up to the church,
with no village encroach,
but now a lone landmark,
of curious ghosts,
of gravestones’ tilt,
and a gate held fast,
where gothic still creeps
on buttress and nave,
but under Christ’s yew tree
the past still prays,
whilst far cross the valley,
the village now lays,
and down past the pillbox,
no old battle ground,
here the tilted cry
of the dead – never found.
Across to the gate
where the grounds expire,
this is the time
I so long desire.

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