JOHN BIRTWHISTLE is an established Festival performer. While we can’t currently offer his original exploration of Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey he has kindly allowed us a preview of his forthcoming book of poems. This one is especially relevant to the times.
FROM A JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR
Round about now, the clocks change.
Carried over in our diary from year to year,
Your note reminds me it is now
That uncontrived woods on the cliff
Over Roche Abbey in Maltby Dyke
Are sprinkled with wild daffodils
Escaping when Capability Brown
Brought to order the rest of the ruin.
They are to me as deprivation was
To Cistercian monks who sang.
We’ll not be going to look for them;
We have declared it Spring and stuffed
The chimney with a bag of crumpled
News as though a time capsule
Because we’ll be having no guests.
Soon enough, clocks will change back.