THE TRAIN - by Margot Hutcheson


They'll be able to tell, 

Tell their children 

About the hungry caterpillar 

That ate up all the trees 

In our beechy, 

Peachy valley.

The big, fast, shiny train 

On it's long, long legs 

That never stops here 

That cracks our houses 

That dries our river 

That nobody rides on.


Nobody has the money

For a ride on the toy.

We have to wait, sidelined 

For our antique rattlers 

To take us to the mines

Of glassy old London town.

Stranded on opposite sides 

Of our pillaged valley 


The deer, the rabbits. And us. 

No added value at all in 

Sentient beings, dumb animals 

And disenfranchised humans. 

But what can we do? 


Surely we are not 

Tree hugging hippies? 

Surely we don't have to... 

Chain ourselves to trees? 

Surely the dinosaurs 

Won't violate their own? 


Wake up, baby.
As man and earth face future choices,
We must listen to seven billion voices,
There are two routes that we can take,
One to reap, or one to break,
Is it money that supplies our need,
Or our land that thrives with scattered seed?
Will nature keep us future bound,
Assuring us with prolific ground?
For without green land our future’s bleak,
Temptation led to fortune seek,
The wealth that grows is as a vine,
Entwining, spreading over time,
Tendrils searching every space,
That’s been taken by the human race,
The vine of urban spread unfurls,
A future for our boys and girls,
What future is it that we pass?
One of concrete or one of grass?
A concrete future fed by fools,
Or a greener future led by rules,
Offices, factories, homes expand,
As urban sprawl floods overland,
Connections by whatever fare,
Get faster, shorter, hasten there,
To where? You enquire, wherever there lies,
Sky-scraping buildings all filling the skies,
Where people can gather to earn vast amounts,
For settling loans, deals and credit accounts,
If we take the fast route, fill in all the spaces,
There’ll be no resources from natural places,
No fields for our food growth, or rivers to quench,
We’ll suffer the measures of human made stench,
Green views cast from memory, no forests remain,
To turn what we breathe out, into fresh air again,
Too many people, will hasten demise,
So spreading fast outwards is truly unwise.
Some voices are singing a song of lament,
While others are dancing at the choice of cement,
Some weep for our country, its soul and its health,
While others still gamble our future on wealth,
As man and earth face future choices,
We must listen to seven billion voices,
Hear what they say, and act to preserve,
The earth and its people, as a future reserve.

Today we were told of things that are new
We are at last to have the HS2,
No matter the cost of this new Train,
Money for this will be found once again.
Bridges are crumbling, they are so old,
Disasters waiting as my tale unfolds,
Motorways closed as repairs are done,
‘Tis the HS2 where the money has gone.
Our roads are neglected and have been for years,
Many are the ‘pot-holes’ that cause many tears,
For money is needed for the High Speed Train,
Never for Roads to have money again.
People’s homes that stand in the way,
Will be demolished, for those folks have no say.
All to save those thirty minutes of travel,
But there is more as my tales unravel.
Lights not lit in the dark of night,
To save more money, yet it isn’t right
For in the dimness it is hard to see,
The hazards that are waiting for you and me.
Hard shoulders on Motorways into use have come,
No widening of motorways will now ever be done,
Maybe nothing on our roads will e’re be the same
But Hey! We are to have the High Speed Train.
The cost from each house-hold, so we are told
Will be a thousand pounds whether young or old,
Yet perhaps none of us can afford to pay,
But we have never yet been allowed a say.
Not one High Speed train into Birmingham City,
Time saved on the Journey, will be lost, ‘tis a pity
The half-hour saved will be needed however,
Through another mode of travel, not so clever.
Whose great idea was this big spend on Trains?
That many people travel on just now and again?
Our Politicians never said the words to me or you,
That our sovereign Government have to obey the EU?



Do not vote gentle for this high speed blight.

Do not vote gentle for this high speed blight,

Railways should help the planet on its way;

Rage, rage against the lying of the right.


Though Earth friends in their heart know green is right,

Because the car has caused such warming they

Do not vote gentle for this High Speed blight.


Economists, as one decry, crying how slight

The figures Hammond conjures up each day,

Rage, rage against the lying of the right.


Business men, who know and fear the money’s tight

And see, too late, billions are too much to pay,

Do not vote gentle for this High Speed blight.


Rail men, who love the iron horse despite

Neglect that left its path in disarray,

Rage, rage against the lying of the right.


And you, tax payer, there in the sad fight

Reject, scorn, damn this vain deceit, I pray

Do not vote gentle for this High Speed blight

Rage, rage against the lying of the right.




Arboretum in Regina Suburbiae - A poem about

PERIVALE WOOD by Alex Nieora, Chairman - NEAHS

Bluebell lagoons awash in bloom,
When once ribbon danced Maypoles,
Were raised up in glade and coomb,
And Penguin paperback stacks

For sale, honey and 50p tea,
Drew many to the Open Day,
To explore Gilbert White’s lea,
And nearby grazing horses lay

Summer soon seized the sun soaked sky,
Fenestrations of light filtered through,
To the flourishing fern furnished floor,
Habiting hedgehogs and badgers too

While painted Lady and Small Copper,
Small Tortoiseshell papillionidae,
Red Adm’ral and Essex Skipper,
The native butterflies fluttered by

Yet sciuromorphic rodents scavenged afoot,
Awhile, as gath’ring autumn befalls
Leaves rustling, twigs snapping underfoot
Owl hoots and pied wagtail calls

Nigh is winter, no time to brood
Battle down the hatches!
Drones’s wings chewed,
They’re left to die