Sunday, 14 October 2012

Dunster, Marking Time

I have written many ‘place’ poems; places I have visited and with which I have fallen in love. Always hopeless at taking photographs, I try to absorb my surroundings and later compose a poem to reflect them.

Now, I love Somerset so was delighted when reader ‘Kathy’ in New Zealand got in touch recently to say how thrilled she was to come across my poem Dunster, Marking Time on the blog as she was born there. It appears her family migrated to New Zealand in the 1970s. Since I have not posted the poem since 2008 it is good to know that some readers enjoy browsing the archives.

The poem first appeared on the BBC Somerset site which is worth exploring and will also take you to my poem on another picturesque village, Watchet, closely associated with Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s famous poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner:

For good measure, I am also posting Classic Somerset inspired by R. D. Blackmore’s classic novel Lorna Doone; the poem appears in my latest collection Tracking the Torchbearer.

As well as being a very beautiful part of the UK, Somerset is also steeped in history and some of you may care to look it up on Wikipedia:


Come clouds of steam or sea mist,
its castle ghosts watch over
Dunster village, shore and forest

Yarn market shell among the best,
(hear buyers and sellers barter)
come clouds of steam or sea mist

Where Benedictines have blessed
history’s customary makeover;
Dunster, village, shore and forest

At a water mill its days have kissed,
engage with past and future,
come clouds of steam or sea mist

Where packhorses once crossed
and nuns offered up a prayer;
Dunster village, shore and forest

Where Doomesday stories persist,
along the Avill river…
come clouds of steam or sea mist,
Dunster village, shore and forest

[Dunster, Somerset, May 2008]

[From: On the Battlefields of Love by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2010]

 Photo: 17th century Yarn Market, Dunster


Doone valley, classic fiction
for holiday images
conjuring true inspiration

Come any with a predilection
for turning nature’s pages;
Doone valley, classic fiction

At Badgworthy Water, listen
out for Carver’s rages
conjuring true inspiration

At Earth Mother’s invitation,
share a Love of Ages;
Doone valley, classic fiction

Celebration of Lorna and John
(birds singing their praises)
conjuring true inspiration

Cream teas teasing imagination
to revisit R. D’s pages;
Doone valley, classic fiction
conjuring true inspiration

[From: Tracking the Torchbearer by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2012]

  Photo: This bridge marks the boundary between Somerset and Devon in Doone Valley.

 [Please Note: My poetry collections are only on sale in the UK but anyone can order (signed) copies from me at a generous blogger discount. For details, contact with ‘Blog reader’ or Poetry collection’ in the subject field.]

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