Guest Poet Jonathan Lishman

Nashleigh Hill

One side houses, one side fields
This is the road called 'Nashleigh Hill'.
One side, grazing land and trees,
The other, building work and the droning noise of drill.
The road is the border between the two sides,
Cutting it's way through what once must have been,
A unified place full of order and life,
One place, not untouched, but peaceful and clean.

Now if a road was a river and its traffic a stream
Flowing and following its course,
Then here that stream is a torrent, ever increasing,
Draining down from an unseen swelling source.
And where once as a child I would hazard a crossing
From my side to the uncharted other,
Now that perilous journey is not worth the risk, 
So through fear of drowning, I no longer bother.

The road is not a river, its traffic no stream -
Such comparisons are flattering and fake.
But it remains a barrier between two sides of life,
Constructed for convenience's sake.
And as you travel along it, as I often do now,
All the way up it and far out of sight,
The stillness and beauty is all on the left,
But the by-roads will only turn right.


Jonathan Lishman's Questions:

1)Has anyone got any suggestions about how I can tighten-up on some of the imagery in this poem? Particular phrases '...the droning noise of drill'' '...a barrier...'. I've no doubt there are several others.

2)The poem's themes are quite informal and perhaps grow from its observations, rather than vice versa. Should the themes be strengthened in some way, especially that of adult/modern life getting in the way of one's will to cherish beauty and risk new discovery?

I really would appreciate any comments at all.

Thank You,

Johathan Lishman
Chesham, England

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The Albany Poetry Workshop