An English Village

What you visit is not what you are
who hold the words of songs to sway to
who satisfy the cracks in ponds
who strike a match in many ways
who make a mansion of a shelter
who call rain by its given names
who talk through what we have to chew
who sit on roofs as evenings melt
who track the halfways through each yard
who know the weights our heads can take
who balance on the tails of carts
who answer to each toll of bells
who point the way to mooring stones
who higgle, carry, yoke and chap
who hear the barn sing under storm
who keep the pugmill stirring on
who stand among the tansy itching
who buy worlds from the ballad seller
who news and bicker round the pump
who set a fire to know a fire
who run beasts down the hidden roads
who thresh and glean and stack then dance
who roast an ox at each new king

Roddy Lumsden

(from Third Wish Wasted, Bloodaxe)


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