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Long Man of Wilmington

Long Man of Wilmington

That chieftain:
He was a man too bold to bury in the town.
His eyebrows bristled hedgerows
And from his smouldering face the black looks fell
Like a flock of rooks, a murder of crows.
Lime-kilns that were his smoking eyes flamed fear
In hearts of local country folk.
His arms were mighty corn-stooks bulging
From a lumpen neck, nipped in at crook of elbows;
His thick trunk stern & strong as seven sycamores;
His legs too long for some poor, paltry parish grave—
Nay! What he needed was
The whole sloping shoulder of the hillside,
The weathered, rough-edged ridge and dorsal spine
Of the long line
Of the Downs.

© Lizzie Ballagher

Poem submitted as part of the Places of Poetry project, find out more here.

Lizzie Ballagher

Read this poem and more from around England and Wales, by visiting the Places of Poetry website www.placesofpoetry.org.uk