Thursday, 6 April 2017

NaPoWriMo Day 5b: Tank On A Hill. Market Lavington, Wiltshire

The official National Poetry Writing Month prompt for day five was to write a poem based in the natural world.  Preferable a part of it that the writer has experienced often.  An idea formed in my head for this.  A view that I saw many times throughout my childhood and my adult life too.  There was a lot of natural - and cultivated - material in that view.

But my mind's eye focused on one point in that view.  And the idea had to change.

The Tank

Cross Lavington valley
Eyes lifted to plain's edge.
Borderland of war games.
Again, our laughter: Full-groan
At an old familiar joke.
“I can see a tank, can you?”
We were safe in humour,
Knitting our family with
Threads of shared stories.
Thirty well-lived years of
Custard crumble, garden golf,
Of smiles poured from that first teapot.
Of a choice of two unchanged
Walks to village store past
Recollections of the Noddy house,
Comments of kingfishers and
Staring again at the bubbling kettle
And then the child angel in the graveyard.
All a little older. But still the same.

Then, the death of the favoured uncle.
The world shivered, became less safe
Without his smiled acceptance.

That was the year they removed
The water tank from the hill.
The joke passed away too into memory.

Only the angel remains now.
Watcher over that which was lost.

There's truth in the above.  Also a bit of fiction and a bit of truth bending.  Much still remains - the favoured aunt is there and if I manage to visit there will probably be custard and crumble.  The bubbling kettle will still be there too and the walks into the village from her home on the hill.  For anyone wondering, there's a YouTube video of the bubbling kettle, posted by lavingtoncurator.  Posted therefore by the favoured uncle.  Or possibly the favoured aunt.  You may not be excited by this.

As for the Noddy House, that was demolished in 1984.  The favoured uncle wrote something about it here:  I entered it once as a child when it was empty and probably not long before it was demolished.

The child angel is in St. Mary's churchyard in Market Lavington.  On many visits to the village photographs would be taken with the angel.  Here, last year, are my two soft toy friends enjoying the angel's company.

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