Peter Branson

1984 Revisited & A nerd in praise of quiet provincial towns

Peter Branson

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1984 Revisited

a mining village, South Yorkshire, the year George Orwell set his novel.

For Luke Kelly, 1940 – ‘84

Folk in these villages recall what kicked

off here, the younger miners well into

their fifties, different people now and yet,

like DNA, the lesson learned endures:

“No tick,” a grocer’s daughter stuck pre-war,

the stink, One Nation, enemy within,

Big Brother double-think, Judiciary

condoning bobbies flouting Common Law.

I’m alright Jacks, good family men from miles

away, strangers on overtime, sixteen

again, no quarter, social cleansing, “Fit

the buggers up!”, invading real estate,

smash locked front doors, make hay, trash furniture,

stop clocks, kids “Bastards”, housewives “Filthy whores!”

A nerd in praise of quiet provincial towns

I love small market towns, those gentled by

ring roads and miles from motorways, where high

streets amble, side routes, losing thread, bemuse,

quaint frontages weave in, breathe out, beguile,

each happy accident resplendent with

hindsight, dank alleys duck ‘n’ dive between

distressed old burgages, all similar,

never the same, sniffy, deprived of light.

Find cobble squares, where steeple-heeled it girls

are hobbled, old folk totter, stallholders,

their smiles like cracks in flags, are on the make,

behind tired signs, cramped tea rooms, charity shop,

estate and travel agents, whiff of ghost

wigmaker, druggist, draper, silversmith.

Peter Branson

Peter Branson is a full-time poet whose work has been published by journals in Britain, the USA, Canada, Ireland, Australasia and South Africa, including Acumen, Ambit, Agenda, Envoi, The London Magazine, The North, Prole, The Warwick Review, Iota, The Butcher’s Dog, The Frogmore Papers, The Interpreter’s House, SOUTH, Crannog, THE SHOp, Causeway, Main Street Rag, The Columbia Review and Other Poetry. He has won prizes and been placed in a number of poetry competitions over recent years. His selected poems, ‘Red Hill, came out in 2013. His latest collection, ‘Hawk Rising’, from ‘Lapwing’, Belfast, was published in early April 2016.

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