The Lay of the Land: Fourth Tattersby

Posted by ractrose on 31 Dec 2018 in Art, Poems

Digital painting of young couple spectating at plane crash site



The Folly






The Lay of the Land


‘I imagine…I will not say admit…the possibility of cordial relations—

You see what he’s done here.’

The tenant of Wisham’s Hill Cottage

has got the field-gate closed to traffic

For good, more or less…for the time being

Put a sinister trip-wire run through a boundary stone

‘He ought not to have made that hole,’ Mrs. Tattersby,

as she braces her rabbit-gun and takes a bead

Remarks acerbically to the host

‘That post is in charge of the Council.’

The spaniel has got herself over

At the loss of a tuft of hair

The terrier is perched with its paws up

And Dougal says, through gritted teeth,

‘Look there!’

The local youth are pleased to trespass

Couldn’t care

There goes a lad and his girl with their cameras

The black flattened tillage spans a swath so much larger

Than the bodies of two small planes

Metal parts thrust up

scrubbed shining by the rains

And Dougal’s face is red with a much-resented gallantry

He thinks there must be parts of Tattersby

Burned in the earth

Knows these young rapscallions think so too, and hope it

Taking photographs, trying to carry things away

And the wife can stand like that, and scorn him

‘We’d arranged our business before all this, Mr. Inskip. We shan’t be looking

that direction.’




The Lay of the Land
Charcoal and pastel drawing of unhappy man wearing cap

Familiar: Fifth Tattersby
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(2017, Stephanie Foster)




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