No 15 - September 2001
The farm’s over. Background to an old man’s walk,
it reeks of schemes and diversification wheezes.
His familiar path rutting through outbuildings extracted
like teeth to accommodate planning permission;
loose change, a child’s game, dug into the barn’s flinty edge.
He doesn’t lament cows nosing stalls.
Instead marks the new rise of the landscaped horse-pond
with a white stone quietly submerged
and confused with fallen leaves;
plants his own bulrushes with a vigorous illegal shake
then circuits Greenlands down to The Wish.
Avril alone remembers boy and dog careering in a cornfield.
She tied them up in a poem but he still ignores her call.
There are seven oaks to the churchyard
as he treads round past the private fishing.
He bears witness to each.
The hitchhiker - see a branch like an uplifted thumb.
The lips - bark scarred and still swollen like a boxer’s.
The horseshoe - an anonymous plough-hand’s work
but restored with his own nails and hammer.
The trees tell on. To anyone watching
he moves so slowly with the fat dog at his tail,
he could be the last of them.
A group of houses turn their back on Firle Beacon
as he walks up to the church.
Intermittent wallflowers spattering the mud.
A lone man had last year’s fishing for the season;
and probably will again. No one else walks.
Sometimes unseen a girl rides her horse
destroying delicate seedlings in the dusk.
Avril and her sisters, the farm’s dead owners,
wait for the livestock to come home.
- 10th Muse
- Angel Exhaust
- Blithe Spirit
- Brando's hat
- Brittle Star
- Cannon's Mouth, The
- Coffee House, The
- Dream Catcher
- Floating Bear, The
- French Literary Review, The
- Frogmore Papers, The
- Global Tapestry
- Grosseteste Review
- Homeless Diamonds
- Interpreter's House, The
- Journal, The
- Lamport Court
- London Magazine, The
- Modern Poetry in Translation
- Monkey Kettle
- Neon Highway
- New Welsh Review
- North, The
- Obsessed with pipework
- Oxford Poetry
- Painted, spoken
- Paper, The
- Pen Pusher Magazine
- Poetry Cornwall
- Poetry London
- Poetry London (1951)
- Poetry Nation
- Poetry Review, The
- Poetry Salzburg Review
- Poetry Scotland
- Poetry Wales
- Private Tutor
- Purple Patch
- Rain Dog
- Reach Poetry
- Review, The
- Rialto, The
- Second Aeon
- Seventh Quarry, The
- Smiths Knoll
- Strange Faeces
- Tabla Book of New Verse, The
- Tolling Elves
- Ugly Tree, The
- Wolf, The
- Yellow Crane, The