2017-09-02

Sept 2nd - Malmesbury

We went on holiday to stomp around our old stomping grounds near Bristol and Bath.

And we took advantage of being there to visit a few places that we'd never been before, such as Malmesbury.

All the time, while we were wandering around, little scenes kept presenting themselves to me, waving carefully inked placards that read:

"You ought to put me in a poem."

So I noted them down.  However, when I reviewed the list later, the sequence of random observations didn't seem to really add up to a poem about Malmesbury.  So the list languished in my backlog until this morning, when needing a poem for my poem-a-day, I dug it out, blew the dust off, and started again.

Today's new trick was not to write poem about Malmesbury, but rather about our visit.  So this is the experience we had.  This is, if you like, a poem about the notes themselves, or maybe about the process of taking them...

It is not, however, about the excellent free WiFi they had in the 7th century abbey.  That only appears here in these notes.



Malmesbury


Arriving

Badger giblets on the bypass
toast gently in late summer sun.

So many picturesque bridges
in the booklet and beneath our feet.
There's one out of this car park
or even three.

Parking is suspended for late night shopping
this midday,
while two blokes fix the roof.

A tiny pavement café
with pretensions of Paris,
however this morning,
seating is reserved for only jackdaws.


A light lunch


Most shops bustle, but this one's empty,
a dying spider plant in window;
it takes a lot to kill a spider plant
and this one's plastic.

Another café—inside this time—
there's paintings and a "Freedom" collage.

We drink tea while the owner discusses
"theory of café catering" with the waitress.
Everything is for sale.

In W.H.Smith we buy "easy tear" tape
to fix the lad's spectacles.


In the abbey

Norman in Norman in Norman, the Abbey door:
a medieval stab
at post-modern architecture.

Inside, a lost killer whale hydrogen balloon
presses against the vaulted roof
slightly West of centre.

Two floors up on the south wall
a security kiosk that some medieval abbot
had built to keep eye on pilgrims
round the relics.

Beneath my feet
three generations to the first brass plaque
and also with "also" on the second plaque,
wisely twice the size
another three generations
and an empty space...


And done

The sun shines all the day;
we wander after some time on our way
pausing only in the bypass supermarket
for wine for relatives
we're later dining with.

Badger giblets still
upon the bypass
—presumably—
we're on the other carriageway now.



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