Poem — Jan Hutchison

John Clare’s Later Life

(to see a crow fly in the thin blue line)

 

Years in Northampton Asylum
where light thickened
at his window
 
days when he shut out vowels
and the letter y
Nbd wll wn m
 
each of us takes a different course
through despair
 
I see him
with a book of memories
a calendar of poems
balanced
on top of his head
 
there was a time before
he died
when he bore that book
to the village of his birth
 
he trudged in ploughman’s
boots through its woods
 
no bird sang in the spinney
nobody will own me
it was winter there

Jan Hutchison