ROKE FROM THE RODHAMS
(Saving the countryside words) Lyrics by Roger Coghill
The Oxford Junior Diction’ry
Has words for kids to learn.
But you won’t find “acorn” in its list
Nor “cygnet”, “beech”, or “fern”.
There is no “pasture” on its page,
No “willow” can be seen:
The words describing nature
Are as if they’d never been.
Instead, we find there’s “broadband”
And MP3 and bullet-
So here’s a song to keep the words
Of nature from decay.
But listen well, for I foretell
They may soon fade away.
A fizmer is the sound of grass
When rustled by a breeze.
A roke, it is the smokelike mist
In evenings from damp trees.
A rawky day is when you feel
Cold set your teeth on edge.
A smeuse is the trail the rabbits leave
As they pass through a hole in the hedge.
A mavis is a song thrush.
A rodham’s a bank that is raised.
When the field is too wet, the word that you get,
Is donky, but don’t be amazed.
They say that our civilisation
Is losing the species of old.
Biodiversity’s locked in adversity
All for the making of gold.
But phrases that capture the feelings
Of nature are dying as well
And the words that portray life’s natural way
Are facing their final death knell.
So go out and donk, you good people
On some cool rawky morning in May.,
And stand by a smeuse; you have nothing to lose
As from rodhams the roke fades away!