Home

What do I love about my country? The scenery. The history. The humour. What don’t I love? The hijacking of patriotism. The urge to close doors to the world. The misplaced superiority. And horseradish sauce.

Home

Home is not an iron fence
or a nation’s bullish confidence.
Home is not the salt we sweat
in conflict, nor the traveller met
with distrust and intransigence.

Home is not immune to time
or compromise; no sacred line
partitions it from otherness.
And home is not the hate we dress
as pride, plastic and anodyne.

Home is not a prize we’re due,
a baked philosophy to skew
to every cause we scurry round.
Home is merely borrowed ground –
whichever flag we pin it to.

 

 

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Photo by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash

From Dovecote Hill

Just on the edge of my home town of Bruton, Somerset, lies Dovecote Hill (and yes, it does have a dovecote on it!) From there, you can see the whole town, which, for most of my childhood at least, formed most of my world. So for me, it’s a place of great nostalgia… and for longing for simpler times.

From Dovecote Hill 

From Dovecote Hill, my thoughts spill down on drowsy mill-town streets
and run the maze of alleyways where once my youthful feet
traced winding paths around the huddled houses that complete
this view of all I knew and loved
from Dovecote Hill.

The fields were loving ramparts shielding us from drifting mists
of worldliness – as if this town were all that might exist,
so we grew up as slowly as the silver river twists
through all I see, from here above
on Dovecote Hill.

This frantic, anxious world conspires to see my spirit crawl
and falter, courage crippled by the hugeness of it all.
One sight could help me find once more the strength of being small –
this view of all I knew and loved
from Dovecote Hill.

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