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John Kinsella

Honest, Theocritus!

for John Ashbery

Interphase, cross-over, fringe exchange,
collusion or conversion, absorption or rejection,
counterpoint over peat beds and spreads
of chalk, or sandy perimeters that run with the wind
or collude with pads of concrete marked out
in fields of neglected sheep and decrepit horses,
the RSPCA rolling past daily, building up their case
against an eccentric who won’t leave the house
to look after her charges - contractors
moving closer and closer with a circular utterance
as if the Song of Solomon were pure pastoral,
as if resolution did not compare itself to a steel trap,
the mind of the songster busy as a bee on the outskirts
of redress, where summer sits in lush shade - gravitas
of fossil fuel hanging close about, issuing wreaths
to naked Fellows who might invade King’s College Chapel
to act out some drunken rite they call Sentimental
Gesture to a Great Tradition,
a recasting of progress!
Might be a photo somewhere - honest, Theocritus!

John Kinsella, Cambridge, 1997

John Kinsella, Cambridge UK, 1997
Photograph copyright © John Tranter, 1997

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