MARIE FEARGRIEVE OIKUS
Neat rows of houses, pretty pan tiled roofs. Pristine railway station, flowers in pots. Smart to attention stationmaster. A picture perfect village, best kept emblazoned sign. Smiling housewives shopping, wicker baskets on arms. Happy picture book children skipping merrily to school. Perfection and order in miniature. A Lilliputian universe. I stand and stare, an Amazon in this tiny shipshape world. I bend and peer into the olde worlde tea shoppe. Static frozen faces stare back at me, vacant, pain free. Oh to be part of your world. I walk away, a giant weeping, back to his cruel, corrupt, contaminated world.
A Shropshire Lad.
A Shropshire farm lad was he. Honest, open, ruddy cheeks burnished by fresh country air. “We want better for him.” said Dad “He’s bright. He’ll go far.” School, University, New York. Liberty at last, big bucks for the thrusting young executive. “He doesn’t stay in touch” said Mam. “Hope he’s alright”. The NYPD had a busy spring. The great river thawed, and amongst that year’s crop of bodies floating to the surface, released from winters grip, was a young adult male. “Someone’s son” said the Chief. “This city gobbles them up and spits them out.” No more blue remembered hills.
I told them. Wished I hadn’t now. They stare blank, incredulous. No matter, I believe. He’s here now, small shrunken frame, mossy beard, green raggedey tunic, muddy prehensile toes, leaf strewn hair. He stares at me, this creature from another land. Whether I’m sad, unsettled, hyper. He appears and conveys to me “enough, be calm, be still.” I turn, he’s there. We lock eyes. I look deep, I see bog and mountain, forest and streams. He has forgotten more than I will ever know. My man of peat, I need him. His worth to me incalculable. Jubilation, wizardry over science.