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Harrogate(Disrupted)- Barnaby Ashton- Bullock

Viv, old trick, emergent anew

like a verdant cliff top searing through

a tryst of tumbling mists

that smeared our long lorn latitude.

Viv, bowed, your hobble stick ticks the earth.

Viv, brilliance noir, anti-light,

smutched to pulp all our early life,

my every ode of love, frown fried,

all our ‘us’, ever on, denied!

this is a place where shop doors still have knobs

and we learn to shut them tight behind us

and where the nativity manger is a thing of wonder

and the plaster cast baby Jesus, a sacred beauty

and where the exalted recipe for the traditional

simnel cake is a jovially well-guarded secret

and where mulled wine and stilton

in the residence of a distinguished someone

is treasured with due discretion

and where, though one merely dabbled in the oboe

once upon a long ago,

one has remained staunch in support of the youth orchestra

even though it musters just three members,

two of whom are in their forties…

Viv, cantankerous,

your cankerous ash interned in urn,

your caustic, hospice tossed-off,

toss-mouthed, “oh, y’live, m’luv! y’fukkin’ learn!”

this is a place of treasured ornamental gardens

where the lonely feed ducks,

this a place where tea is ‘taken’,

where maidens can be still be ‘ruined’,

where men are civilised in the incessant descant of their ‘lady wife’s’ chatter

and where whispered rumination in tea-shops,

in semi-formal attire,

is accompanied by a pianist who reputedly played

in one of the top swing bands of yesterday

and the joyous twinkles in such beady eyes

as the cake trollies waft briskly by

really do belie

the truth that so many come here to die…

Viv! You convalesce, I scone-chew gurn,

For we, so full of play on jilting Stray,

Some other day! Some other day!


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