Totleigh Barton Arvon Poem

3 Jan

Sorry for the delay and the injokes . . .

Totleigh Barton Arvon

A coach from the Forest where they put on the Goose fair,

six hours south west to pigsties and goosepens

decked out with desks and comfy beds

at Arvon Totleigh Barton


Squeals on arrival, quick exploration

Famous Five voyeuristic, childish girly giggling,

wonky windows and no phone reception

at Arvon Totleigh Barton


Zoo Father, Mouthy Mother,

patterned trousers, sinky sofa,

beliefs extended, see more adverts

than films on telly and wonder where love is,

modern teaching methods questioned,

marmite defended, pesto commended,

Is Jay-Z a bit like Jesus? Debate impending,

cheese too expensive.

pasta bake and cake for afters

at Arvon Totleigh Barton


Angry badgers, soul-depth divers,

kitchen light gives middle finger,

cooks and jokers, ramblers, writers,

conversators, word collators,

image scribblers, Simpson quoters,

not many men and even less blokes

at Arvon Totleigh Barton


Mirrors as beds and moths as water

and beds as small outdoor grassy areas

and moons as clothing worn by brides

men for moving stuff on tracks, manmade eyes

Freida Kahlo head vagina, yes correct,

that is the answer

at Arvon Totleigh Barton


trip to Hatherleigh, designated driver

off for Ginger Wine and co-op brand cider,

learn the process of a writer,

learn that animals can be the answer,

learn the spiritual benefits of salmonella,

but when would salmon ever

be served to standard less than perfect

alongside peppers

with crumble for afters

at Arvon Totleigh Barton


Lists of ten are arbitrary, alter-ego biography,

Tales of otters and river mist at sunrise,

Tales of self and purpose and beauty,

Tales til four in the morning surprises

if only we could talk forever

about life the world and everything

if only there was no sleep.

Tale of a Brazilian lethario

who was rather good with his feet,

Andreas Sizzlesock sizzling our hearts

Green Thai curry slapped up for starters

and fruit salad for afters

at Arvon Totleigh Barton


Walking to Sheepwash against a fierce westerly wind,

emptying my mind of russet leaves, falling like peacocks,

swirling my memories through geo-tagged messages

(that was Bea’s and I have to credit it,

because she wrote it in like a minute and it’s lovely isn’t it?)

at Arvon Totleigh Barton


Window view of dead sunflower like a beach shower,

doing domestic things with people you don’t live with

and mooching in jim-jams and slippers

outside of a relationship and hearing stuff

about people you kind of didn’t know but kind of did,

the closeness of understanding in those conversations,

and breakthroughs at three o’clock in the morning

at Arvon Totleigh Barton


and breaking technology addictions,

other than when up the hill we snook

to the top of the hill for sneaky browses on Facebook

at Arvon Totleigh Barton


vaginas, vaginas, vaginas, vaginas

at Arvon Totleigh Barton


Horses with demons

Horses with laughter

Horses with dreams

and bangers and mash

and a big bustling sack

in the brain to unpack

at Arvon Totleigh Barton

(and Brioche for afters)


Cracking tutors, never boring,

insults thrown and groups performing,

baked potato lunch with beans AND  tuna – bit edgy

votes all counted and vagina elected

but are the three bears the men or the veggies

at Arvon Totleigh Barton?


And Laura’s blinding Godfather impression

with a grape in each cheek at the head of the table

at Arvon Totleigh Barton


And Deb and Emily’s dance interpretation

of the process of milking of a cow

at Arvon Totleigh Barton


And the feeling of family reunion

at Arvon Totleigh Barton


A homecoming for half and for half new experience

at Arvon Totleigh Barton


And a walk halted by a dead squirrel in the road,

and lack of purchase in a nice Arts and Crafts shop met

with mild contempt and flushing dead flies from a toilet bowl

at Arvon Totleigh Barton


and a million doors to explore on arrival

and a million more through the week

cover recitals and talking all night

and scribbling through the best lack of sleep


and something in every poem I hadn’t heard before

and a chance to be nosy as well as Mouthy and find out more

and love, love, in every heavy table and whitewashed wall

we’ve painted this house with our stories


they’ll soak into the floor and cook slowly with the spills,

they’ll stay in the bottom of every mug left on the window sill,

they’ll stay in the walls and the poetry library and never die

and people in the future, in a quick moment of quiet

in this old, old house, will hear them


and I, for myself, would like to thank you all

for the silliness, seriousness, sharing

and smiles and walks and talks and yourselves

at Arvon Totleigh Barton


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