An English Field, in Ripe

We four squared the fields,
measuring the flat-topped hedges,
Of briared histories,
with a quart of different scales:
A brace of busmans’ holidays;
we ploughed our city trades of measurements.

But the ungrazed clump-suck of meadow,
brought us both back from town,
And to talk of easelled-landscapes.
Ahead, as usual, the others, a decade behind,
avoid such muddied reflections,
puddle-stuck below.

At this indoor hour, with these paints,
to draw that sunset December-march:
A survey of possible Roman villa,
outlying farmhouses converted with other currencies,
The Ripe red brick long-dead slaughterhouse,
and a paced friendship – best not set-aside.

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