The green light is given, pumping billions

into the high-speed race for ballast and steel,

ploughing through sunlit wood and glade.

Destruction quantified; the track hacking a path

into irreplaceable reserves, forests

centuries old, systematically felled, remnants trailing

in the wake. The executioner, slices through the web

slaughters dormouse, barn owl, lizard, tit-willow

white-clawed crayfish, dingy skipper butterfly

carving up the countryside – many consent,

a few try to halt this reckless contempt,

ache to cradle nature whole – to restore

the myriad connections which trees embrace,

interweaving worlds, both living and dead.

© Steve Walter