Poems from Huish Episcopi Primary

Huish Episcopi, where my mum lives, is probably not the cultural hub of Great Britain. It’s next door to Langport, which boasts a basket centre and a school for checking gas meters (you cannot make this stuff up, and I’m not). Huish itself has an Esso garage, a Tesco, a cricket club and a primary school.

Funnily enough, the primary school is an improbably pretty mini gothic palace on a small hill, with a superb view of the Tesco right across the road. To ensure that nobody ever gets a chance to see just how lovely the school buildings are, They have erected signs across the full length of the fence. (I don’t know who They are, but They are legion and They are everywhere.)

Wondering at the British enthusiasm for erecting signs in front of anything worth photographing, making it not worth photographing, I went over to read them. Each class had been given a sign to put stuff on. Some of them were about who was going to become what when they grew up, but one class had evidently been asked to write about a Magic Box.

The poems were printed in Comic Sans on clip-art backgrounds. So imagine my surprise when I read them:

I will put into the box
Three violet wishes spoken in Gujarati,
The last joke of an ancient uncle,
The first smile of a baby.

****

 My box is fashioned from ice and gold and steel,
With stars on the lid and secrets in the corners.
Its hinges are the toe joints of dinosaurs.

****

I will put in the box
A snowman with a rumbling belly
A sip of the bluest water from Lake Lucerne
A leaping spark from an electric fish.

****

I will put into the box
A fifth season and a black sun
A cowboy on a broomstick
And a witch on a white horse.

Poems from Huish Episcopi Primary

Suddenly, Huish Episcopi didn’t seem like such a cultural backwater after all.

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