I don’t have the country

Nor cousins to visit and drink lemonade

no landscape to yearn for when stuck

in a red brick wilderness

but I have a key to another heaven

another kingdom without

government taxes and power

who’s patron saint is Percy Thrower

where I can disappear like a rabbit down a hole and

appear in

the allotment

my fields my trees my bush my jungle my shanty town

my rough paths of upturned wheelbarrows

entrenched forks abandoned spades

casual work lazy days smokey roll up afternoons

where a few chickens share the sunlight

sloping sheds that dance in all weathers

swaying plastic barrels will always have a drink

heart is where the allotment is

mine ‘s as big as a cabbage when there

the neat surrounding gardens

that border my kingdom tut tut in scorn

‘those dreadful shed people’

but these tidy neighbors

lack a certain unruly charm

a unique voice a grounded air an allotment

away from congestion and concern

ant like toil and consumer care

no dull anthem here but bird song

a joy for the eyes and a lift for the spirit

I don’t have a country but an eccentric

sanctuary an allotment

an escape hatch from the town roar

you only hear when the city score

where everything quietly grows

in rows to ripen when nobody knows

to find my country look in the town

but it’s a secret kingdom an allotment

if you go through it’s gate

shut it !

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