John Sleigh Pudney

Landscape: Western Desert

Winds carve this land
And velvet whorls of sand
Annul footprint and grave
Of lover, fool and knave.
Briefly the vetches bloom
In the blind desert room
When humble, bright and brave
Met common doom.

Their gear and shift
Smother in soft sand-drift,
Less perishable, less
Soon in rottenness.
Their war-spent tools of trade
In the huge space parade;
And with this last distress,
All scores are paid.


And who will see,
In such last anarchy
Of loveless lapse and loss
Which the blind sands now gloss,
the common heart which meant
Such good in its intent;
Such noble common dross
Suddenly spent.



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John Sleigh Pudney