Packed, like sardines, in a small metal tin,
we left, in our big metal tin:
bags full of wet and dirty clothes,
the oil between flesh for us.
Headed for Boscastle: we’d heard the name,
the floods of 2004, seven years, almost to the day:
And we found, England, on that sunny Sunday afternoon:
a village fete, like only England can do.
The stilt walker, announced his arrival:
his jovial air (which you need if you’re on that pedestal).
Everyone stopped to throw wooden balls,
at 70s plates, for a pound (guffaws aplenty).
The white collared vicar, honesty and trust,
in a suit, sold tickets, pound a strip,
fifty the prize. I wasn’t going to be there,
when they drew, “I’ll send it to you” he said.
And the old ladies, serving tea from a tent,
the sign said fifty pence: “How much?” said one,
to the other. I didn’t dare feel hungry,
for a slice of carrot cake, it looked good!
And the old boys, almost hidden, in a cave;
one in stocks, the other, dry, amassing
the throwers, to drench his friend. I’m sure
a pint would be shared, drips and all.
And the dog show, what a fuss they made,
of the dog show, two Jack Russells and
a Great Dane, competing “Best in Show”:
what fun as only England, and the English, do.
This was England, an old England,
a beautiful bygone England.
Where everyone, is very polite,
and does their best, to talk like the Queen.
I was reading Philip Larkin’s “Show Saturday” and it reminded me of last Sunday when we visited Boscastle in Cornwall on the way back from our camping holiday near Newquay. It reminded me of a way England used to be, so quaint and beautiful in its’ honesty and some might say – naivety. For me it was the exact way I like to picture and think of English village life so I thought I would have a go at my own “Show Saturday” – Larkin’s poem can be read here.
Shared for dVerse Poets Open Link Night – week 8.