John Birtwhistle

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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.


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.