Alfriston


Alfriston - St Andrews in the Tye, raised mount and flint walls

Alfriston

 

Alfriston, oh Alfriston

I still hear your sea winds blowing

I was 21 the last time I smuggled myself into your secret passages

It was sunny then too, with the light dappling at windows

like an impressionist painter with an endless palette of time.

 

Alfriston, oh Alfriston

I can still hear your sea waves crashing

At the end of the Cuckmere where Eleanor Farjeon’s morning was broken

Sea trout, dace and perch open their gills

as the anglers brace their lines.

I lock my car and recall an Anglia owned by a brave young student

abandoned beneath the tree in the village square,

its straight 4 engine glowing with the exertion of the trek from Falmer.

Tucked under my confidence then was the contraband of hope

And today there’s an Inn called the Smugglers, a kind of memorial.

 

Alfriston, oh Alfriston

I still see her standing by the stream on the east of the village

Looking over the valley of lows and highs

We unfolded our plans on precious parchment, wondering

where this unmapped love would take us.

Today I look at the steeple on the Tye and can still see the tears

That watered my memory, my crying shame.

And the raised mount of St Andrews and its flint wall

express the dialectic of the place, the uplifts and falls

like a gull wheeling in the small eddies and minor currents

and a man down, below.

 

 Roy Stannard 6.10.11

 

On National Poetry Day – with apologies to Jim Webb and Glen Campbell

2 thoughts on “Alfriston

  1. My Alfriston is far away, but in my mind I too sometimes become my younger self, standing on a different shore but smuggling the same ‘contraband of hope’. Powerfully evocative, really struck a chord with me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s