A Lament for the Lost – A Memorial for the Obliterated.
A gathering of grieving relatives led by one outcast, one animal to another.
We gather here today to mourn the loss of this space and all its inhabitants, missed by all of us who loved it, who used it and needed it, to mourn its passing. Its death was sudden and unexpected. It was taken from us one day by a virulent attack of human greed and arrogance. It could do nothing against such violence, it had no defences and sadly, fell swiftly; was struck down by an infestation of metal claws and teeth, that ravaged and rent all its bodies; breaking, ripping, cracking, an attack so strong and consuming it withered and broke all before it. The space had no chance and now the absence breathes it’s stillness, the shock still ripples in the warm air, from the flattened earth, its brown cleared body, lays, still in shock; all its parts gone, all its family, all it was, lost, killed.
The trees broken and scooped up into the skip like they were nothing, all the bushes, flowers, plants torn: the ancient elderberry bushes, the thistles, the poppies, the foxgloves, the long swaying grasses, all fallen to this fast-acting human virus, that leaves nothing in its wake, all just hours before swaying softly, beautifully, in the summer breeze, never dreaming of such violence to come. The infection took it all, laid waste and we gather to remember what lived only a short time before. All that we loved and cherished, rubbished by a force we cannot forgive or forget. All of us have our own memories: you dogs, loved to walk here, nose around, roll, run, explore, play, and you cats too, explored, sniffed, listened to the hidden lives only you could hear and had your secret, sleepy places; all you birds that filled the trees with song and life, you chatter in the empty air, wondering where your homes, your resting places, have gone; you spiders, butterflies and insects, lost, so many, we weep for all of you and stand by with you in shock and outrage that this space, our space, brothers and sisters, was so cruelly, coldly, mown down.
In the aftermath, we saw he tried to comfort his small black dog, that stopped dead as he turned over the slope and just stared, not understanding, his eyes scanning the void before him, looking for his wild-land, his dreamtime; and the white cat, who sat on the wall beside the bare earth, staring, staring, stone still, sniffing at the scent of broken things; nowhere for her to hide now, no secret shady spots in humming grass and twittering air; we grieve with them.
We all mourn together, oh we mourn; the loss of a space like this affects us all, diminishes all. It will never be replaced. It takes more than is seen. Yes, it was only small, it wasn’t grand, but it was ours, everyone’s; it was wild and we all loved it and it loved us back, spreading out its wild energy for all to share. We miss it already, we feel deeply the painful emptiness, the whole aura altered around it; the after-effects linger, as we come together in our grief. But the human virus is merciless and cruel, laying waste to more and more of nature’s offerings, more and more succumbing to this disease. There seems to be no cure, the virus grows stronger, more virulent and deadly. As it takes, so it wants more and spreads and spreads, leaving ruin and death in its wake, tainting every life.
So we remember, so we weep, for all that is lost, for all those taken by the wrenching, for those who didn’t have a chance to escape; no warning given, just short, sharp shock; they knew what they were doing. We come together around this space, while others look on, unaware of all the tragedies that have unfolded this day, the many deaths, the huge losses. The atmosphere is charged with a kind of still shock and we convey our sorrow to what is left to absorb it.
We live to fight another day, my friends, but the death-cult grows strong; we must be on our guard. They worship death, we worship life, and they hate us for it. These infections are unleashed fast and furious, the plagues are many and sneak through in disguise; deception is a powerfully ally and dumb perceptions are so easily deceived. We see and feel these deaths, these losses, while most just walk on by. We come together to share our outrage and sadness, to remember this small sanctuary of life, ruined and savaged; small, yes, but potent in its power to soothe and support, to bring together and to sustain. We have each other and we will not forgive or forget; something stirs deep in the darkness, knows and rises. The blind ravagers and executors of others plans know not what they do, they only know how to obey, to follow their masters instructions, not understanding these overseers care as little for them as they did for the life they hacked and ruined. One day they will.
So, at the end of this hard day, so still and quiet now, after the upheaval, we remember and ache for what has been taken from us, but stand together, strong and defiant, with our hearts open and our breath one; our love for one another all we have to hold on to, but that is enough, for now; we comfort each other, as they wreak their havoc, oblivious and hollow, they build their own tombs and we will be forever free.
T.S. Eliot : ‘What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow Out of this stony rubbish?’