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Both nuthatch trails, treecreeper swirls,

bluebells dappled by their woods,

mauve heather moors steeped skylark thrills -

yet finding frogspawn clumps for jars;

that’s how I grasped the name the birds

and flowers blooming from the paths

which wandered through my early days -

bee buddleia through cinder tracks

wind willow herb by granite kerbs.

I saw resilience of much,

the better seed in soil known home;

bird flocks that flew in balanced air

where insects, worms grew undisturbed.

I thought that commonwealth was shared

and passed from parents, offspring gems,

just as past generations knew -

the nursery where folklore learned.

But now it seems those things are scanned,

but past those screens the world closed down,

as if those tablets make us blind

so moments with our globe are lost.

Our phones are I and me alone,

a book of faces, friends to drop,

near neighbours in my hand alone,

a stand-alone though in a crowd.

The text, my conversations form,

its language not as I would speak,

as if my tongue robotic bleep,

a button pressed by fingertip.

We scorn the envelope, its stamp,

the slowness turning mind to write,

our notes rewritten overnight,

the time it took to seal and post.

That proofread become a lost art,

when words were tempered, mind and heart,

and reading measured handiwork,

the shape, style, how was figured ink.

Our race has traded space for speed,

considered talk for coded words,

and multitasks for one to one.

I long for frogspawn in a jar.

Previously published by Lothlorien Literary Journal

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