k u .co. mind our y think re #IFeelBetterWhen Allotments 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 ! Tony O’Dwyer Poetry 58