'Green Lane' was commissioned for National Poetry Day. The subject was 'identity' or the identity of the south east of England. I wrote the poem in the voice of a green lane, and the voice seemed to offer a sort of reconciliation between man and nature.
Though you’ve cut me with lay-bys and ring-roads,
where once droves of cattle pounded my back,
though you think I’m silenced, my voice still churrs
from sheltering hedges. I knot my roots into yours.
I’m your ditch of sandstone, your mess of goosegrass,
unreeling over downs, a gap in the may.
Come into me now when rain falls on a green morning.
I won’t trickle away, dead end to a building site.
No, I’ll hang a gate between the forest and mist.
You’ll lift the latch, walk me, through gorse, to the sea.
from Hidden River (Bloodaxe Books, 2008) © Stephanie Norgate 2008, used by permission of the author and the publisher