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Posted by on Sep 30, 2013 in 2007, Tom Clabburn

In Lammas Park October 2007

Tom 2014

In Lammas Park October 2007

(In memory of Tom Clabburn who died in autumn in the springtime of his years)

Wine-dark leaves

hopped on the grass

like drunken toads

blushed on


malignant elves

in a dance of death.

There they crabbed,

cryptic as grounded bats,

or tea leaves dregged

for divination.

For me, I speculated,

in the twilight of my years,

they are hosting for me.

Gold leaves shimmered

a stone’s throw away

for a boy

of fourteen summers,

a stone’s throw away

in this park

where he played

football and sparkled

with his mates.

This boy, bright as

sun-struck gorse,

has Morsed his spot

in our hearts,

mapped himself

in our familiar places.

His unmade years

will morph into light

beyond my lingering.

Reproduced with kind permission of the author, James Ballantyne. First published in Poetry Ealing 17 magazine in July 2008.