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"The view from there's remarkable": Fort at Sierra Gorda, Spain (Pompilos CC BY-SA 4.0)

Dancing fox

I saw all that was left of his body  
the same day that I saw two concrete trees,
brown with lopped branches either side a gate.
I had a certain liking for the fox.
He smiled, seemed midway through a prancing dance,
Vivacity, defiance, even in death.
Not much fur left to grace his skeleton.

Dancing diggers

Walking the quarry landscapes on my own
I reached a silver plateau in their midst.
Crushed slate and pyrite glittered on the ground.
Mostly it’s empty. No-one passes there,
abandoned, damaged land that’s left unused.
Except one time, dozens of JCBs,
waltzing like Strictly Come Dancing in a ring,
like something from the craziest of dreams,
a group of extras for Transformers films.
A firm was demonstrating diggers for sale.
Next day, all the machines had disappeared,
gone off to do their dances some place else,
or maybe settle to more normal tasks.

The pioneers

Old tailings ponds, contaminated heaps,
have scarred the landscape with their arid waste.
And yet, close up, amongst the cracks you´ll find
some reckless vegetation, pioneers,
waiting to colonise. Amongst these plants
some nurse, encourage other types to grow.
Far from green gardens, far from comfort zones,
lacking in beauty, they make up in character,
slowly reclaiming land, putting down roots.

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