Colin F. Jones

DEVASES WOOD: ENGLAND, 1951

~ 1 ~

Vermilion sun-clouds in the wind blown sky,
Drip sweet morning dews that will quickly dry,
Upon silver-green fields, speckled yellow and white,
With fragile sweet flowers of springtime’s delight.
The bluebells in the shadow s of the Birches and Elms,
In a deeper green basin than the emerald realms,
Of the fluttering leaves and the soft swaying grass,
Seem indifferent to the mosses as they droopingly mass,
That creep over the boulders and bricks of the wall,
That is a remnant of a building where a bugle once called,
The soldiers to arms in the shadows and glades,
To camouflage their guns in the translucent shades;
And yet if you listen you can still hear the sound…
And despite the birds singing you can hear the guns pound.

~ 2 ~

Where the woodland grows thicker there’s a little duck pond,
Where the children now play and the Blackbird in song,
Competes with the Chaffinch and the delight of the thrush,
While the Skylark shoots skyward in a warbling rush.
The ruins of stables which housed horses so fine,
Stand crumpling while painted by mosses and vine,
And the Owl in the rafters is teased by the breeze,
That moans through the eves and rattles the trees.
There are mounds where the hedges mark out the graves,
That have headstones so old they were fashioned by slaves,
And still traces of cobbles that formed a carriage way road,
Can be seen through the blackberry where nestles a toad,
On the bank of the spring which bubbles through fronds,
Down the shallow embankment and into the pond.

~ 3 ~

Devases Wood still resides in my memory today;
Its greenery and blossoms, its creatures at play.
The wall that surrounds it is of mortar and brick,
With a smooth rounded top and twelve inches thick,
Broken glass has been inserted twixt barbed wired stakes,
That its formidable shadow a dragon shape makes.
Hung between the tall towers of grey granite stone
Are the great oaken gates by a designer in Rome
They are decorated in vines and weathered by snow,
By sunshine and rain and the wild winds blow.
And there overhanging is the horse-chestnut tree,
Where I hid from the keeper who was looking for me.
For “keep out” was the message on the Devases Wood gate,
Which threatened ones trespass with a miserable fate.

~ 4 ~

I could well think of the jungle and gunfire and Hell,
Of dying and screaming and exploding shell,
I could dwell on the seventies when I wondered alone,
Lost in a world I could never condone,
Drinking and seeking an ear for my words,
That were always dismissed as foolish absurds,
I could dwell in sad thoughts tis so easy to do,
For indeed in my life good memories are few
But why would I do that with such memories as this,
Of Devases Wood when I was living in bliss,
Part of sweet natures ever changing shades
Seeking adventure in the kaleidoscopic glades.
For I feel so much better in fact I feel good,
When I spent a few hours back in the wood.