Apophasis

They are cutting down trees again, not here, but in another village on the way home from town. I saw the tractor with its trailer-load of amputated trunks; it was waiting to join the traffic on the main road at that junction where you always have to wait a very long time.

Someone must have thought that scruffy scrap of woodland would be better bare and treeless; that tangle of trees, mirrored in an obscure pool, would be better ‘developed’ into housing to meet the need for more rungs on the property ladder.

Will the houses they build stand around that pool too, looking into its dark stillness? Or will it be filled up with who knows what? It’s deep, they say. How much debris will it hold? And where will all that black water go instead? Not to mention all the previous residents of wood and pool. (That’s apophasis, by the way – a rhetorical term I learnt today, for talking about something by saying you won’t talk about it, or a theological one for speaking of what can’t be spoken of.)

But the market gets what the market wants, and never mind those costs that can’t be written in a ledger or summed up in a spreadsheet.

The ineffable can eff off, as long as there’s profit to be made.

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Wasp trap

wasp trap

 

 

We have flown into this sticky temptation, its mouth wide and welcoming,

like wasps after cider,

more and more,

till the jar is full.

 

But the cork is in place,

the invisible walls are impassable

and we will not turn back.

We buzz, frantic wings humming,

beating these frail bodies, again and again,

against the unyielding truth.

Or stick, tar-coated, in the black dregs.

 

©2014 Fliss Watts