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walking on a chalk hillside.

the going is deceptively


oasthouses in the valley

tip their tipsy hats to us,

a village dozes, mistily

picturesque in the distance.

picnic on a scarred slope

between stands of hawthorn.


everything you set down

slides and rolls away,

prompting swearing and

a general loss of temper.

reach out sodden cheese and

tomato sandwiches from

crumpled packs of tin foil,

flasks of tea, thin and lukewarm

with the instant plastic flavour

of a summer day’s outing.


arguments and alliances,

reggae on a cheap transistor

radio swinging on our hips,

sunshine through a speaker,

rescuing the day from a bad mood.

Song is ‘Zimbabwe’ by Bob Marley.