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Friday, 8 March 2013
Our Town #1
Approaching from the north
down steep and steepening Folly Hill
and into Castle Street,
beware the tight right-hander
or take the cut end over end
to end in Farnham Park,
your wheels as free as air.
Par 3, the golf course you are on.
Nine holes, if you've not made a tenth.
(Amenities and wild life share
in equal measure here
for this, a park to cherish.)
Three hundred acres plus:
no planted beds,
no long borders, but instead;
a stunning avenue of trees
one kilometer long,
eight woods and copses,
several ponds, the river
Nadder and its valley
and a cycle way;
cattle and deer are here --
and don't forget
the vigilante foxes
that patrol our streets.
Somewhere among the trees, I've heard
(you only hear, you never see),
the Ranger's House
where dignitaries visiting may lodge --
including those requiring an armed guard.
Once gently guided to another path,
I wondered -- idly, as one does --
had I been balaclava'd, carrying
a cello case... how gently guided then?
But now, you've made the tight right-hander
and come in quick succession to
The Cricket Club and Farnham Castle,
twelfth century the latter, once
the seat of bishops, now
a centre meant for briefing
those about to go abroad.
Alas, its A1 reputation has not proved proof
against ubiquitous administration.
Horticulturists will love the Palace Gardens.
We're very close here
to the heart of what
I call My Town,
the place where I have lived for half my life,
but still the road drops down
and S-bends for a bit beneath
low, overhanging trees
then broadens out, becomes
a boulevard but in name
with parking either side,
the buildings Georgian,
shops and businesses as well as houses.
Still we drop down --
less steeply -- to The Borough,
part of the centre's one way system.
The very heart itself.
Submitted in response to Paula Sayers prompt for Critique and Craft at dVerse Poets
The images show Farnham Park's Nadder Valley and the Castle Gate House. They were sourced from Wikimedia and WikiCommons.