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This poem is taken from Poetry Nation 6 Number 6, 1976.Horse Fair (for C. H. Sisson)
for C.H. Sisson
' . . . at Appleby in Westmorland
Or Cumbria as they now call it, God damn their eyes.
He cannot finish his poem 'Swimming the horses'
For cursing of regulators whose folders
Work toward elimination of scenes like this.
Barely a tourist here among beholders
Of bareback Bacchuses, half-bare gypsies
Riding the piebald horses into Eden.
Pubs overspill, their customers take over,
The town's alive and is for living in
Pro tem. As we have seen it every June
When, imposing their uneconomic Horse Fair,
From all quarters the travelling people come.
They used to camp on the road verges here,
But now at Gallows Hill, well out of town.
More hygienic; and leaves the highway clear
For inter-urban transport. Tankers swing
Where hedgerows grew and tethered horses grazed,
Unimpeded now down landscaped carriageways
With loads of sulphur, liquid oxygen.
This poem is taken from Poetry Nation 6 Number 6, 1976.