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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Jelley

The Canvas Lords

A poem about camping, composed this summer 'observing and being observed' whilst camping!


Here is the transcription.

The Canvas Lords

Camp ground arrivals

The field of cocoons

Hatching pop up chairs and scores of tarps

More pegs skewering this stony grass than a voodoo heart

Go choose your pitch

As those watchers observe

Take your time

Don't loose your nerve

Tent now pitched

You've staked your claim)

You can pop up the half dome

And then the Wendy house too

And a suite of marquees might just do

Perhaps a little more tarp

For the east and west quarters

A game pen for the swing ball

And the squabbling daughters

Three fire pits

A full kitchen table

Caribena coffee cups

And mountaineering labels

Peppermint wind breaks now frame it all

Corralling kids, gazebos and the urbanite sprawl

So pop your chair

And take your place

That camper smugness

Fits easy on your face

So there you recline

Perusing the scene

Slowly recalling that infectious nomad gene

Distant from your working dissolution

But choose your moment wisely for your daily ablution

But then the multigrain Yakult swiggers come

Tanned and efficient the no-dig allotment scum

Bell-end tents and retro yurts their saviours

Iona Felix Theo become your brand new neighbours

Finally dawn arrives on the day of departure

A mixed delirium part ascension part rapture

Now stow it down

Fold it

Pack it

Bent pegs pulled

Wrap it

Stack it

The Big Bang theory runs in slow reverse

A hectare of canvas came out of that purse

Camping saints then bless your blisters

Past transept, alter and this holy mission

Your kneelers prayers have come to fruition

Boy Scout channeled

Miracle achieved

The Canvas Lord has risen

Do not be deceived

Christopher Jelley © all rights reserved

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