On this late summer Sunday afternoon

a line of smoke drifts from woodlands below

that seem to stretch almost unbroken

to the South Downs distant, cerulean.

Out of sight is England’s long southern coast.

Dressed limestone forms the house’s facade.

It is imbedded with severed fossils.


Through an open window there is music,

a piano. On the lawn are cream teas

and wasps. A buzzard is circling far off.

Josiah Wedgwood retired here, Darwin

visited and Ralph Vaughan Williams composed.

They were related, a Victorian

pantheon – industry, science, art.


We cross mowed pastureland to the car park.

A cow frolics away amongst the ferns.

I think of bottle kilns dark in smoke,

and the wet shine of clay revolving,

evolving on a humming, ceaseless wheel,

and, some bright morning, the rising of a lark.





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  1. #1 by John Huddart - March 29th, 2016 at 06:03

    Meditations on history both personal, recorded and unrecorded. These reflect the way the past continually impinges on the present, by forcing us to reflect on meaning and significance that that other country frequently keeps to itself.

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