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Open Plan


I’ll be interviewing another Shearsman poet, Claire Crowther, here on Friday 31 July. The following poem comes from her marvellous new collection The Clockwork Gift.

Open Plan

They took the walls away without warning.
The roof floated, a miraculous over of shelter.
We were caught out. We cooled quickly. A sty?

My hands made paws? My lover stamped in the open.
Who took the decision? Editorials argued
about iconoclasm. We’d had a tradition

of opening the inside but obscuring doors.
But doorlessness isn’t just trailing ivy
over a letterbox or bricking the front

to look like the side. Our family walls were all sides.
The trick was to show passers-by a gleam of room.
One of our walls had had an exquisite trompe l’oeil

library. No stranger could find a way in
and no one knew how we had done it, which book
the idea came from. Every unwalled home

can’t be called a ruin. I missed the rally.
Thousands met in a park — that seems so ironic.
Were they protesting about their gazebos?

My bed is a perfect copy of straw, comfortable.
I hold you as close as when we were walled in,
though nearer the pavement, though clearer to them.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Robert permalink
    27/07/2009 14:48

    Look forward to that.

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