Rural Rides (The Bird Scarer)

'Bridscaring' by Sir George Clausen

Beneath horse hair flax a wretched creature stirs,
off the well marched blood stained tracks
beyond the bawdy ale soaked house,
The Scarer wakes with field mouse.

The dust of bones that fell in France
was scattered here to bring advance
to farmers field and heavy plough,
The Dead are churned to feed us now.

A soldiers bastard boy who no Mother ever mourns
another blasted Cannon, another Empire Dawn,
his clapper claps to scare the birds
Each clattered beat drowns out his words.

Across these patchwork Jaded Hills
an echo gently whispers still,
of all the voices never heard
Drowned out by time to scare a bird.

© Wolfgar 2020

3 thoughts on “Rural Rides (The Bird Scarer)

  1. In the great scheme of things nothing much seems to change. There is talk of opportunity and endless possibility, that talk often rattles around the middle and upper echelons. These days it seems ticking boxes of conformity and repeating accepted knowledge in subservient deference is the way to get ahead, get some rank or letters before of after your name, that’s the way ahead. That sounds bitter and defeatist doesn’t it, but for some it is a truth. What is success?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reminds me of Thomas Gray’s poem “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”.

    Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree’s shade,
    Where heaves the turf in many a mould’ring heap,
    Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
    The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

    Gray relates the nameless dead to his own fate as he asks himself rhetorically what will happen to him:

    For thee, who mindful of th’ unhonour’d Dead
    Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
    If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
    Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,

    An interesting read David. All good wishes –

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks John,

    I’ve been revisiting some of William Cobbetts “Rural Rides” I live in the area he was born in and spent some of his time writing about. The landscape is full of historic references (like any I suspect) some natural and some man-made. Soldiers used to march through this landscape to and from Portsmouth and the South Coast. It was a main route back to London after The Battle of Waterloo, we have Pubs and places named after that era. I was imagining the human traffic and behaviour that would have passed this way with all it’s consequences for the future. The fact that human remains were purchased by agricultural companies after battles such as Waterloo I find astounding. There are records of huge shipments of bones coming into Hull and being processed as fertiliser for English farms all over the country, talk about spreading ashes and homecomings. Also I have been dipping into a little Dickens again (hard work) with his images of poverty and lack of opportunity, those reflections made me wonder about the hopeless poor in that age and how so many of them ever had any hope, how their voices were never heard even if they did have something of value to say they were drowned out by menial work and grim circumstances.

    Thanks for stopping by, hope all is well with you.



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