Fen Droveways by Colin Whyles

Submitted by Colin Whyles on Tue, 24/06/2014 - 21:30

Fen Droveways

A series of parallel ditches and hedges found at Flag Fen are believed to indicate droveways used to marshall livestock between feeding grounds and holding pens in the Bronze Age.

You cut the land to tame unfettered feet;

Dug ditches, lined droveways with raised hedge;

As our grey, Tarmac lines guide random wheels,

You led your livestock to their feed and rest.

You calmed their restless urges to disperse, 

Confined their lovelorn passions to penned yards, 

Controlled the wild space through which they yearned

to roam and gave them safety as reward.

In turn you asked for succour: milk and wool,

flesh and hide, both gave and took their lives,

Paired tup with ewe, mated heifer with bull,

Approved each union, culled to survive.

Your simple lines tell how you pacified

the beast, became its master and its guide. 

Copyright © 2014 Colin Whyles

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