Tuesday, September 8, 2015


What would an Old English man think of you?

The land you drive upon you turn to barren stone.
The food in your belly you belch forth as fire,
And worse than fire, befouling the air.
All who touch you on the way you maim or kill.
To the men within you, you give not friþ but wrath.
The sweet sounds of the countryside you embitter.
And when your life is at its end, you do not
Return to the ground from which you were taken
To nourish it, but stand stacked in heaps,
Slowly poisoning year after year soil
And stream and spring and sea.

What would an Old English man think of you?
‘Þu eart bana.’
What would an English man of the New South think of you?
‘You are a boon.’

-‘Friþ’ is Old English for ‘peace’.
-‘Þu eart bana’ is Old English for ‘You are a bane.’
-The Old English letter ‘thorn’ (‘Þ’ and ‘þ’) has a ‘th’ sound.

By Walt Garlington

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