Elsewhere and the Appetite

Let’s test the theory of hunger,
call it a craving that alters
the touchstone for blame –

an addiction, for instance,
to chocolate – an understandable
urge, an itch soon scratched.

Or test the caravan
in the meadow, the traveller
on the bridle path,

the broken lock on a disused shed,
the raid, the up-rooting,
the rights of man.

An Englishman’s home they say
is his; the feckless
deserve not a grip.

So let’s test the appetite
for moving on to an elsewhere
any itinerants of land.

‘I would like to test the appetite to go further’ – from a written statement
by Priti Patel proposing to strengthen police powers
to tackle
unauthorised encampments. (November 4th 2019)


Mandy Pannett
Illustration: Claire Palmer

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