Hedge Sparrows

My work has often seen me walk and write symbiotically with William Wordsworth. I’m suddenly jolted back into that relationship with the realisation that all the roads around here, an housing estate in Dronfield Woodhouse, are named after places in The Lake District and that everyday I walk this road, Grasmere Road. Grasmere the birth and burial place of the great poet.

Here are some lines he wrote by Grasmere Lake in 1806:

CLOUDS, lingering yet, extend in solid bars
Through the grey west; and lo! these waters, steeled
By breezeless air to smoothest polish, yield
A vivid repetition of the stars;
Jove, Venus, and the ruddy crest of Mars
Amid his fellows beauteously revealed
At happy distance from earth’s groaning field,
Where ruthless mortals wage incessant wars.
Is it a mirror?–or the nether Sphere
Opening to view the abyss in which she feeds
Her own calm fires?–But list! a voice is near;
Great Pan himself low-whispering through the reeds, ‘Be thankful, thou; for, if unholy deeds
Ravage the world, tranquillity is here!’

William Wordsworth
Grasmere Lake

And I walk on. Four times a day. I travel the edges. The between ways. Sometimes crossing the borders other times sticking close by them but remaining to one side. Trying to make sense of, to know this place and that and mine too.

a car alarm
suddenly stops
hedge sparrows

Paul Conneally
Dronfield Woodhouse
December 31st 2019

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