I Watched The Road
I sat and, for a while, I watched the road.
I watched the squirrel with the ragged tail
make her daily rounds in search of treasure.
I watched the pheasant, that fine fellow, stalking
puffed up as he crossed the pinstriped lawn.
I watched the crows, those jesters of the air,
make mockery of wind’s attempts to throw them
from almost imperceptibly fine perches.
I watched the pigeons fail to be like crows.
I watched the laden clouds drift slowly by,
looking for a better place to land.
I watched my squirrel friend leap gracefully
from ash to beech to chestnut. Then at last
I watched a car pass by. Once they were common,
their rumbling song would filter through the trees,
a flash of colour glinting in the sun.
But now, like other species under threat,
their absence leaves its mark on eye and ear.
And as I sat and watched, the space they left
was filled by squirrel, pheasant, cloud and crow.
I think I like this new view of the road.
Rev’d Rich Clarkson is Rector of five rural parishes in North Shropshire. He has degrees in Physics and Theology and wrote his Master’s dissertation on Nature Contemplation in the writing of Maximus the Confessor. He is a Diocesan Environmental Officer for Lichfield Diocese, on the Board of Directors for The John Ray Initiative, and most importantly he is married to Lucie and dad to three wild boys!