We’ve navigated the old canals
Since the roads were blocked with cars,
And we were stuck when the highway truck
Rolled over the top of ours,
They poured a layer of bitumen
Across the roofs of them all,
Then crushed them under a steam roller
Until they were flat, and small.
They didn’t bother to pull them out
The ones who were trapped inside,
Just wrote them off the accounting books
And made a note that they’d died,
They needed to halve the ones who lived
Or the earth would sputter in space,
Spinning across that great divide
With the death of the human race.
But we got out, and we made a break
For the fields and the old canals,
And found a deserted barge afloat
Thanks to the help of pals,
We got some paint and we cleaned it up,
Made it all right to roam,
Then once inside it was quite a ride
And started to feel like home.
Most of the waterways were clear
With some of them overgrown,
I’d send Gwen Darling back to the rear
To steer while the weeds were mown,
I’d scythe them out of the way ahead
And steer the barge through the gap,
Then rest at night by a harvest moon
With Darling Gwen on my lap.
I’d bag a hare on a winter’s night
And steal the milk from a cow,
The earth was dying, but we survived
And Gwen kept asking me how?
‘We’re going back to the way it was
Before computers and such,
Before the Banks had us by the throat
When love was lived by a touch.’
So still we wander across the land
As they did in the days of old,
Those ancient barges, covered in dust
But laden, carrying coal,
There’s a merry fire on a metal hearth
And an oven, full of a goose,
And a woman’s wiles, to gladden my heart
As her stays are coming loose.
David Lewis Paget
© 2016 – 2017, David Lewis Paget. All rights reserved.