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Next Issue Peter Scupham at 85: a celebration Contributions by Anne Stevenson, Robert Wells, Peter Davidson, Lawrence Sail

This poem is taken from Poetry Nation 4 Number 4, 1975.

Barns, Unimproved Molly Holden

The barns of Worcestershire are as old and huge
as our parish churches and have much in common
- crucked, quoined, crocketted, even naved
and aisled within, though their black oak - adzed and sawn
as many generations since - is not considered holy
as are the squared stones of the church, its looping steps.

Nor do the barns give back echoes. The floors are unswept,
starred with dry dung, littered with broken straw
and stray ends of binder twine that men have dropped,
having no further use for them. Also,
they are crowded with objects that absorb sound
- tractors quiet for a time while the seed's sown and springing,
great yellow harvesters waiting in the dark for their hour
to come, emerging once-a-year like legendary dragons,
to re-arrange the land and finish summer.
And there are still some bales of last year's straw,
...


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