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Plastic land mines are virtually undetectable, and virtually everlasting. At the current rate it will take 1,100 years to clear them up - and more are being laid all the time. Children are disproportionately likely to be victims.

The title is borrowed from a piano piece by Janacek, and is a nod towards Robert Frost's The Road Less Travellled - in past times disused paths could be seen as romantic and attractive; in many parts of the world that's no longer the case.

On the Overgrown Path

Screen_shot_2017-12-05_at_08.50.24by Patrick Howse25 Oct 2014

The autumn woodland sun
Slashes shadows through
Bramble strangled bracken;

Undergrowth long checked by
The slow repeated
Steps of generations

Now springs forth anew,
Nourished by cheap
And careless killers

Lying silent, patient for
The foot that
Fulfils their destiny.

Children of men unborn
When that war
Was long forgotten

Will play between trees
In a forest
Of legendary horrors,

Moving mossy red stones,
Ending their game
Abruptly.