Poem: “Tyneham” by Steph Gassor

Sometimes my mind strays alone in the valley
Watching the sunshine dappling through the ageless trees.
The sweet, clear stream trickles on to the coastline
Adding its own music to the humming of the bees.
Then I can wander through the skeletal cottages,
Which once were homes with life within their walls.
A rusting copper nestles in a barren outhouse,
While through the open eaves the pigeon calls.

The whole row of houses stand guard to their village,
Eerily, silently holding their own.
Despite being abandoned, bombed and derelict
A sense of long ago life still abounds.
Within the church take time to linger,
Where names and faces come quickly to life.
Yet in the churchyard those very same names
Are carved in the gravestones, both man and wife.

Climb up the hillside and look down at the village.
Beautiful, quiet, unspoilt it lies
Within the deep valley, cutting down to the fields
To the stark coastline where the waves heave and sigh.
There are very few places that my heart would linger,
And fewer places still that my soul would rest,
But with Tyneham I’ve found my own little paradise,
And I could settle for nothing less.

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