On Bidborough Ridge

Another poem inspired by my local area with references to Bidborough, Southborough, the Downs and A21!

On Bidborough Ridge

My heart lies in the hammock of this green valley
It’s gentle sides I pull about me on my return,
Grateful for its soft embrace and the chance at last,
To rest, far from the world I once devoured,
Before it turned on me and then took chase.

The field where I fumbled through my teenage years
In golden nests amongst the hay -I heard not long ago,
she had passed away –
The white bell-tower of my old school
From whose negligence I made a full recovery.

But today, when I climbed to the high ridge
And looked below, at the remnants of that
Which I used to know, beneath this sky
That silk screens the clouds, I saw
Nothing beyond the road that slips
Beyond the dusty evening Downs.

An unknown future beckons and I am reluctant,
To follow, an old dog dragging behind its master,
Beneath St Peter’s clock which has been three minutes late,
Ever since they bound and gagged,
Our churches with black tape
And the birds became our evensong
In a clear cathedral sky.

This land
My comfortI shall gladly take
But I am no fool, this is my end
There are no pastures new.

July 2021


  1. Simon, Seb put me onto your site. I remember you submitted a poem to the school mag with the first line ‘Beneath my furrowed brow’. I can’t remember whether it got published (or if anything I did decided that: more Mr Dove’s province) but I saw the line ‘The white bell-tower of my old school / From whose negligence I made a full recovery.’ If poetry was neglected, I’m glad this site is evidence of that recovery. Thanks for putting these up. Go well. And sorry about your father.

    1. Hi Richard, really nice of you to get in touch and to say nice things about my poetry. To be honest I have written so little since my Dad dies last March. But this year has got off to a brighter start so who knows. Please visit again. You never know there might be something new posted! The mention of ‘Mr Dove’ took me right back. How are you and what are you up too? Simon

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