Alan Morrison

Digger Hinges

For the Wigan Diggers Fourth Festival 2014


Squatters of the grasslands over the river from Runnymede

Where John Lackland scratched his mark on Magna Carta 1215 –

That excommunicated monarch who mislaid Normandy,

A Plantagenet transplanted from Angevin heredity…

2012: youth of England lack any land, while boundaries

Are in abundance, patchworks multiply, cramp up sympathy;

On damp campus water meadows stove-lights glow in Surrey,

Children of the forest sell-offs, berried Gerrard Winstanleys,

Camouflage caps for capotains, blacks, brackens, khakis

Patched in disruptive patterns –Diggers in Greenleaf fatigues,

Lilburne’s cherubs rigged in sea-green ribbons, sprigs of rosemary,

Offspring of empty purse-strings, a borrowed rainbow army

Simmering a common broth from beetroots, leaflets and poetry,

Pamphleteering butterflies primed in leaf-mimic liveries

Reciting seventeenth century verse blotching under eaves

Of dripping-wet twigs, moss-roofed refuseniks with capped knees,

Cropped of hope and property, renters of sheltering leaves,

Carving woodchipped bed-sits out from hollowed loins of trees –

No re-enactments needed in parchment-catching histories

Of Wellingborough, Iver (Bucks), and Cobham communities:

Commonweal clamped, Welfare State Turned Upside Down by Tories’

Torching of social tenancies, routs of verboten poverties,

Dole-books as taboo as Latin Bibles of priest-holed poperies –

No sanctuary in countryside for homeless of Home Counties:

Barely an acre of hill or scrubland un-inscribed by absentee

Landlords’ stinging signs: NO TRESPASSING! PRIVATE PROPERTY!

NIMBYs tramp their tents and crops, re-evicting evictees:

Generation Tent turfed out from tenements, streets and trees;

Locked in cells with paper fines –but hearts are locket territories

Scallop-clasped to grasping hands, sempiternal properties:

Spirits outstrip fleecing rents of bodies’ shorthold tenancies…

Long grasses of sprung ideas grow thick and wild like reeds

Ripening through time to greening wounds on dungarees,

Pitched hopes can’t be uprooted like extemporised tepees,

Nor can their motto be obscured by bruise-blue verdigris –

“To make the waste lands grow” gongs an age-old pedigree

Of egalitarian grain, spiralling through centuries

In tree-ring rhetoric, Communist Dendrochronology

Of woodcut radicalism, green-bough pledge of grass lessees

Brokered by young Brackenborough, their verbal emissary,

Sore-thumb Rainsborough boxed in redoubts of Facebook feeds,

Utopian pilot, as all past figureheads of his sea-green breed

Whose pivoting agitations sprang from pulpits of Hedge Priests;

English progress has always swung on Digger hinges –from these

Pastures Virtual Everards, Goodgroomes, wireless Winstanleys

Will occupy the open spaces of non-partitioned entropies,

No patchworks sprawl across the maps of strip system topographies,

Blogging Diggers plough the fields and threads, sow Twitter seeds

Of fellowship in hearts and minds through laptop protest sprees;

Raise crops in common ownership of Javascript counties;

Spread broadsides on the grapevines from greengages and blackberries…

Alan Morrison © 2014