A Valentine for New Albion

A Valentine for New Albion

New Albion dear Albion waking stirring rumbling with disorder
and republican cunning I send my love in hope and gratitude
optimistic and afraid hopeful and dashed by past false starts
and hopeless lost causes which resound in memory and recall
your hidden history never taught in parliament college school
New Albion be my valentine land of promise land of mine

New Albion my heart beats faster when I see your best faces
your curves your valleys your secret places yet unbreached
by nuclear motorway pesticide runway stink of Euro-link
armies of Little Chefs ranks of Big Macs and Shell service stations
culverted rivers overground sewers chemical waste toxic waste newspaper waste
spilled filing cabinets of private deals and private lives made suspect
by heart and soul in opposition yeah yeah yeah
New Albion be my valentine I love thee will thou be mine

New Albion I love your hedges unclassified roads Hertfordshire hollow lanes
Epping Forest High Beach Chiltern tall beech Dover Beach Cairngorm
mountains Lairig Ghru pass all moors and heaths free at last
of bomber and missile – Victorian pier Brunel bridge village ground
park pitch footballers cricketers net ballers tennis’s hockeyists
all playing for pleasure no endorsements no bungs no spitting foul tongues
fair play fair form fair face comely joy oh boy I love you all
sweet issue of Mother Albion blocking roads
liberating crated calves and sacrificial lambs sabbing hunts
squatting travelling saying No to Nukes corrupt capital lying print
bought opinion sold integrity royal sycophancy artful advocacy
bloated law disgusting fees practitioners not of justice but law
feeding the rich by robbing the poor
New Albion I send my love to the suers of Macdonalds’ sewer shops
seekers of truth not filth going against the might of money my honey
Honey Albion be my valentine New Albion be mine oh mine

New Albion’s bards I send a valentine for you too –
no not the self-important band – but to music in its largest generous form
poets of song and soul who touch our starved hearts and shout what we know
that there is more to life than lottery and royal fashion
our hearts’ desire is passion Land of hope and glory Albion of the free
how shall we exalt thee who are born of thee?
Ah New Albion I glory in your horse chestnuts and chestnut horses
cats dogs otters badgers foxes Oh boring list!  I include all animals
all plants all fishes all frogs moles voles newborn foals Dover soles
who live your land and line its shores
New Albion New Albion I write my love I sing my song

New Albion I sing of Barnet Cotswold Cheltenham Spa Symonds Yat
Langdale Pike Brecon Beacons heights low Somerset Levels Dorset Durdle Door
St Pancras St Albans St David’s Head beautiful bicycles’ silent ride
roving boots with Itshide soles tents rucksacks primus stoves OS maps
plotlanders allotmenteers commands all who work for health not wealth
Burton Albion Albion Rovers West Bromwich Albion Blakean footballers all
old history old longings old beliefs not quenched not blenched not stenched
out of existence by foul leaders bleeders and squealers who foist
their fearful scornful storm upon us and then reward their enterprise
New Albion besmirched and scarred but not defeated revivable by love
by care by shared concern from all born of thee or arrived from over sea
in free spirit of Blake and Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft
chartist leveller digger lovers of liberty children of New Albion revived
millennium raptures monarchy fractures we are many they are few
New Albion I sing for you

Albion sweetheart I send you wildflowers for ever
You are my love I am your earthly lover.


Jeff Cloves

(For Dee)
14th February 1995

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