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Longley, Michael: Ghost Town

Portre of Longley, Michael

Ghost Town (English)

I have located it, my ghost town --
A place of interminable afternoons,
Sad cottages, scythes rusting in the thatch;
Of so many hesitant surrenders to
Enfolding bog, the scuts of bog cotton.

The few residents include one hermit
persisting with a goat and two kettles
Among the bracken, a nervous spinster
In charge of the post office, a lighthouse-keeper
Who emerges to collect his groceries.

Since no one has got around to it yet
I shall restore the sign which reads CINEMA,
rescue from the verge of invisibility
the faded stills of the last silent feature --
I shall become the local eccentric:

Already I have retired there to fill
Several gaps in my education --
The weather's ways, a handful of neglected
Pentatonic melodies and, after a while,
Dialect words for the parts of the body.

Indeed, with so much on my hands, family
And friends are definitely not welcome --
Although by the time I am accepted there
(A reputation and my own half-acre)
I shall have written another letter home.

Uploaded byP. T.
Source of the quotation