We’ve been studying drainage and soils and

how to stop nature from destroying the school,

with class-crowds of kids.

running into the hills, along vague trails


A door into the ground,

Networks of drains running along edges and folds,

An ivy-choked creek behind high fencing

A fat snake sliding out of sight

holing up under some stairs.


Winter rains flowed under the blacktop

seeping through cracks,

floating mosaics of asphalt away,

causing heaving of the soil

that concrete foundations ride

on seasonal waves.


Moss fills small fissures first

followed by entitled tall grasses,

baby bushes and tiny oaks whose trunks

will expand cracks into crevasses.


Chernobyl’s nuclear city thirty years after has

trees growing through classroom windows and floors,

stuffed animals and blankets left on rusty-sprung beds

in the hurry to get to the busses.

Fairground rides and dodgems grown over with vines,

the gradual decay softening right-angle edges.


Nature will always survive in one guise or another

with us riding along

or maybe bucked off

unless we expand the cracks with credible hope.