King of Spinney Castle


On the hill of my home on the edges of the city a king holds court;
Quietly presiding over the clover grown and wooded ruins of his keep.
It was with the freedom of a lonely youth with time to unravel
When I first came to parley with the king of spinney castle.

A muddy moat dissuades the incurious from the spinney's well-guarded secrets,
And deep-rooted trees harken an unfelled palisade that holds back the surrounding suburbs.
With school children on paper rounds and mobile library vans the present lays siege daily,
But buses always turn about in deference to that bailey.

Cyclists in the park dismount and morning papers arrive prematurely
Paid for in Christmas tips, wax candles, and memories of who lived here in passing.
Sheltered homes and dovecote dwellings for departing widowed vassals
Lie up against the garden wall between the hall and castle.

It's been many years now since I last visited the spinney
And sought an audience amongst that court of rabbits and trees and crisp packets,
But I'm certain a king still resides in that forgotten copse of pity;
Long may he reign upon the hill that overlooks the city.

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