South Downs

The Loss of Tranquillity

We took the train to Lewes,
And went for a bite to eat
In the Snowdrop Inn we ate our fill -
Not far from Cliff High Street.

We made our way up Chapel Hill
Along the ridge of the cliff,
And passing the postcard cottages
We marvelled at their frills.

When we got to the golf course path
We looked down on the rivers below.
One was the River Ouse,
The other, a traffic flow.

We reached the stile and stood there
Thrilled at what we’d found.
A vision stretched before us:
The rolling, rolling Downs.

To our left a bank of wild flowers bloomed
And swayed in the summer breeze
And we thought that in a place like this
We could surely take our ease.

There were sheep in the fields before us;
Sheep on the hills beyond,
But they always kept their distance.
When approached, they simply ran.

There were crows and magpies on the hop.
Insects of exotic design.
We checked our location on the map,
Set off in the direction of Glynde.

I exaggerate a little
If I say it was almost heaven -
But for a distant, nagging roar:
The bloody A27.