Things move slowly here like the browning
of a leaf, like the lichen along the bark
that comes on like considered kisses
to comfort the cold and some things just stick

like the tossed blue bag the wind has wound
around the briar, like the damp within the bricks
of those choked up cottages not even demand
will come to disturb. Things move slowly here

like the hold old hearts still have on the names
of bodies long since buried whose memory
will not take to the dust. Things move slowly here

except for the traffic that never stops as if tires
are never tired, as if their tracks never leave a mark
on the lane, on the landscape, on the air
and some things just sink

like concrete that sweeps on and over like the tide,
as if the soil was the shore, as if nature
was a battle to be won and the church bell tolls

while slabs rise in graveyards like tower blocks
and the fields are only fertile for 2-story foundations
and the trees pulled and replaced with plastic tables
and chairs that won’t wilt in any weather.

Change can be ambiguous, like security, like stability,
like continuity, like humanity, unlike concrete.

Some things are what they are- a sea, a sky, a place, a price.

Pastoral is a commodity that has passed. Some things move
slowly while other things…

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly