The Mores (John Clare, 1793-1864)

“As fallen landscapes from an evening sky

These paths are stopt – the rude philistine’s thrall

Is laid upon them and destroyed them all

Each little tyrant with his little sign

Shows where man claims earth glows no more divine

But paths to freedom and to childhood dear

A board sticks up to notice ‘no road here’

And on the tree with ivy overhung

The hated sign by vulgar taste is hung

As tho’ the very birds should learn to know

When they go there they must no further go

Thus, with the poor, scared freedom bade goodbye

And much they feel it in the smothered sigh

And birds and trees and flowers without a name

All sighed when lawless law’s enclosure came …”

Blue Pencil

Sharply scratching, gently penetrating,

the page.

A blue-led daubed era.

Beginning,

or Not.

Catch it, scratch it,

dessicated like Liz’s dog dream.

Rim-worn sunglasses,

falling cities in her eyes.

An urban trope,

suburban hope.

Wailing away,

inside.

A crying baby,

a gaunt wink –

within my eye,

outside my eye.

There is a lot to be learnt.