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.
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.
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.