Poems to share

Somerset

From the road in Somerset

a wilting willow man,

chased off the fields by warehouses,

pollarded by council funding cuts

The bedraggled cousin of the Angel of the North

staring down the M5

holding out its guts.

 

Somerset

 

People drive through fast

We are a patchwork blur

a consonant slur

a place on the way to somewhere else

with better views or brasher lights

We see it all

from the heights of our mystic tor

and ragwort depths of our flooded floor.

 

Pull back our hedgerows

like an ancient prison grate

Follow us like a tractor into traffic

Tip us like a cow

We are nuclear fission

scrumpy soused double vision

A gypsy cart on the sweet track

A steam train on its way back

A festival of 400,000 eyes

looking upwards.

 

We are a Parrett full of writhing elvers

A wild eyed Exmoor foal

A jilted witch

turned to stalagmite

in a Wookey hole

 

Centuries ago we rode in on a tsunami

Danced to the drums of the Minehead Hobby Horse

The Girt Dog of Langport snapping at our heals

 

Now we are 400 village strong

Gold spun in apple blossom sun

Our smiles fermenting

on the tips of cheese and pickle

pirate tongues

 

Somerset

We keep our families and our elders

but we cannot keep our young

They leave the orchards

for the hipster beer

and strange idea

That something better can be found

in bigger cities

other

towns

 

While we weave and crusade

Unafraid to be homemade

Always on the levels.

 

© Liv Torc

Liv Torc

Liv Torc is a performance poet, Radio 4 Slam Winner, a former Bard of Exeter and current co-host of The Hip Yak Poetry Shack, Liv also runs the spoken word stage at WOMAD festival and the Hip Yak Poetry School. In 2019 she is performing on the Poetry & Words Stage at Glastonbury Festival. Her first published book Show Me Life was released by Burning Eye in 2015. She lives and works in Somerset and runs the poetry and mental health cabaret The Rainbow Fish Speak Easy in Yeovil and the Hip Yak Poetry Slam in Frome.