Penwortham Moss


Long grew the meadow grass, warm glowed the sun
Soft blew the breeze on the gold twitching fronds.
Seedy slight fescue in scattering throngs,
Dog’s tail and cat’s tail, rye grass and fox tail,
Cowslip and clover, sorrel and brome.

Lazy bright days for the faeries above
Skipping through splendour with pink petal wands
Light as the seeds and floating like cloth,
Whispering to flowers and enchanting the hours,
Whilst we fester beneath, shut out and cut off.

This field, now houses, was part of the moss.
The meadow belonged to the beasts of the bog.
A quagmire of paradise, bountiful haunt.
Sphagnum and fen sedge, sundew and star sedge,
Woundwort and dropwort, lizards and frogs.

Thick claggy peat soaked as full as a sponge,
Pools of deep water with bottomless grounds,
Dragonflies glitzed rippling spangling rounds.
We sat in, we soaked in, gloried and gloamed in,
‘til they drained it with ditches and sowed it with crops.

Now we dwell in the doom dark deep
Deprived of pool and moss and peat,
The corner and cranny we crookedly keep
Dried out and wasted, fates wangled, frustrated
‘til the land is returned to the bog and it’s beasts.

2 thoughts on “Penwortham Moss

  1. Nicolas le Becheur says:

    When the pumps shut down, Martin Mere will spread itself again, and place-names like Mere Brow and Moss Lane will once again have meaning. The Domesday Book surveyors missed the village I grew up in, deciding there could be no worthwhile habitation west of that watery waste. I don’t see it as mere coincidence that the so-called Age Of Enlightenment was heralded in by drainage schemes and the suppression of the so-called Unconscious Mind. The Wills-o’-th-Wisps and corpse candles turned into CH4 (Methane) and were piped to light the boulevards of Southport and banish the darkness and shadows. There’s a lot of poetry in the subject. You’ve got me started, now. Thanks.

    • lornasmithers says:

      Nic you’ll be pleased to hear the Lancashire Wildlife Trust have just today managed to save Chat Moss 🙂
      We were less lucky with Much Hoole Moss, the last area of Lowland Raised Level Peat Bog in South Ribble. I went to argue against it’s use as a paintballing site with a few people from Wildlife Trust but it went through with ‘conditions.’

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