Poetry by Craig White

PUBLISHED: 11:15 24 May 2011 | UPDATED: 19:27 20 February 2013

Three sonnets from Sturminster Newton's Craig White

A Marnhull Dannys Tale

A Danny was the name given to any man from the village of Marnhull in North Dorset. The word was in common use locally during the 1970s but is now rarely heard.


The Hedge

Nature, folded by ancient rustic yeomanry

into latticed hedges of mutated living fencing,

conceives a playground of random symmetry,

green tunnels of endless exquisite imagining.

An innocent space with infinite possibility:

Palace, Jungle, Spaceship, a childhood utopia

of badgers, blackthorns, rabbits and elderberry,

nettles, brambles, bluebells and fragrant aromas.

An arterial ecosystem with abundant variety,

its living walls enclose the lush pastures

into a patchwork of grazing geometry,

for herds of stately Friesian settlers.

Who gaze with their gentle brown bovine eyes

at these doomed divisions of our countryside.


Joe Mole

His eyes were luminous steel blue, alive

with twinkling shards of mischievous fun.

His face, a weathered map of his long life:

brown and crumpled, carved by clean air and sun.

A grubby khaki flat-cap, jauntily askew,

bedraggled grey-green ancient jacket

secured with hairy binder-twine (calves too),

brown dungarees, muddy boots and thumb-stick.

His gruesome work was in grazing meadows

under attack from an invasion beneath

of unwelcome little furry fellows

destined to perish between steel-sprung teeth.

Tiny corpses hung in a row (job done)

on barbed wire like Joe met at Verdun.



The worldwide industry of super-farmers,

and the global, season-less supply chain,

controlled by super-market buyers,

(the smiling assassins of the food game)

has sparked a counter-revolution

of retro-food and small-scale production.

and a perfect marketing solution

for market town regeneration.

Diversity is the rural buzzword,

farmers markets, local products, old crafts,

cheese making, bale houses, Alpaca herds,

hedge laying - acquired wisdom of the past.

The countryside is in damn fine health,

albeit being a facsimile to create wealth.

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