Mending Wall

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.

Seeing a broken wall made me think of Robert Frost’s poem ‘Mending Wall’.  Then a few days later, in an example of what the gullible call synchronicity and the rational call coincidence, I came across another one.  What did they have in common, apart from their obvious broken wallness?  Only that I was passing them on my bike.

The first one was at the sad ruins of the Romping Donkey at Hassall Green, where the pub is being pulled down but this wall is being built up:

It’s hard to tell at the moment whether this is a work in progress or whether it’s been abandoned along with the pub.

The second broken wall was this one in a peaceful corner of the churchyard in Alsager.  Bricks have been purposefully stacked as if to repair the wall, but the weeds show that nothing much has been done for quite a while.

On the other side of this wall is Alsager School, and the break in the wall has been there long enough for a little path to appear from schoolyard to churchyard.

Anybody using the path will find themselves walking right over the gravestone of the Tapleys, parents George and Fanny, son Cyril and daughter-in-law  (or perhaps daughter) Marjorie.

I found myself wondering what the Tapleys were like, and whether they would be put out, or perhaps secretly pleased, to be stepped on by schoolchildren going for some peace and quiet, or perhaps a crafty cigarette or a secret snog.

I hope these walls don’t get mended.  The broken wall is so much richer, so much more truthful.  And it reminds me of one of my favourite poems, this one by W.B. Yeats:

The Stare’s Nest By My Window

The bees build in the crevices
Of loosening masonry, and there
The mother birds bring grubs and flies.
My wall is loosening; honey-bees,
Come build in the empty house of the stare.

We are closed in, and the key is turned
On our uncertainty; somewhere
A man is killed, or a house burned.
Yet no clear fact to be discerned:
Come build in the empty house of the stare.

A barricade of stone or of wood;
Some fourteen days of civil war:
Last night they trundled down the road
That dead young soldier in his blood:
Come build in the empty house of the stare.

We had fed the heart on fantasies,
The heart’s grown brutal from the fare,
More substance in our enmities
Than in our love; O honey-bees,
Come build in the empty house of the stare.

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About abikerideaday

I like riding my bike about for work and for fun. Having a blog lets me sound off and generally express things. If you like my blog, please pass the address on to other cyclists in the area!
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