All the towns I’ve walked around –
often in the autumn – tracing steps
back to some cathedral or shopping
centre but mostly standing in the rain
that cold clean force which whatever
one wore would soak through into 
me now and forever. Plates would
be moving under distant oceans –
tearing worlds apart – all I had was
some lonely shop still alight on a late 
Saturday afternoon, then a panicked 
purchase – though glorious – an album
or an army surplus jacket. Last buses
back over the sodden Salisbury Plain –  
incredible the blasting of autumnal rain –
careering through rickety villages strung
along empty A-roads but not the steppe 
or the Chinese belt-and-road initiative 
taking our flags for takeaway – yet then 
again, who isn’t happy in some pearl-glint
paradise suffused with the east; do you
know how long they sailed to ride the 
monsoon winds from the Cape to the 
Indian coast then Cathay? Goods yet
unknown, not t-shirts and cheap shoes,
but I’m not sneering – it’s communal to
shop, and beautiful. Better than rotting
on Edwardian literature which I love to 
do: a ghost story about a man hanged
because the priest wouldn’t betray a 
confessional! Well, faith has its place,
but I prefer just the rain – and again. 



Paul Sutton

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One Response to TOWNS

    1. Grand stuff, P.S.! from J.G. of JP.

      Comment by Jesse Glass on 25 October, 2021 at 3:05 am

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