The Big Marsh: The Story of a Lost Landscape by Cheri Register

By Cheri Register

A rural group is modified perpetually whilst moneyed pursuits conspire to rework a precious wetland.

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The shades of night have set their sombre sail And fled before the crimson scythe of dawn; The stars go out, like candles in a gale And leave a scene some artist might have drawn, Of ships aflame and spires in golden mail That hesitates a moment and is gone. WORDS FROM A WANDERER I do not know your wooded slopes and streams But as the passing stranger knows the way The nets of dusk have trapped the ending day, When webs of shadow snare the filtered gleams; I only know how dim the pathway seems And how the dust from many roads of gray, Has sunk into my heart and made me pay With tears and loneliness for these few dreams.

McVEY It did not matter who or what he was Before he came to these sun-spattered hills, Or why he chose that wind-tormented ridge The scene of his grim struggle with the soil; He seemed to love it there, the sky so near It almost touched the gnarled and twisted trees. And often when the rain in frenzy beat Against the staring windows and the roof, Flooding the planted fields to leave them bare, And mark another year of fruitless toil, We’d see him out beneath the lowering sky Undaunted by the storm, while lightning leaped From pinnacle to pinnacle of cloud.

TWILIGHT These are the restful hours After the day has gone, Before the buds of flowers Have changed to the blooms of dawn; After the sun in setting Has brought the twilight calm When man can rest, forgetting, Tranquil as a psalm. FOREST PEOPLE I read their story in the sand, Another in the snow, They write it with their tiny feet As they come and go; Here one stopped to eat awhile, There one paused in fear— This was a sparrow’s landing field With marks of his running gear; Their joys and woes and tragedies Are written clear and bold.

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