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You know, Carrie, it is great living in Suttonford as you can get everything

you need without having to drive to supermarkets.  You might pay more in

the Express store, but you save on fuel, I commented to my friend, as we sat

outside Costamuchamoulah cafe in some sun.

What about when you lived in Wintoncester?  Did you go to Sainsbury’s

before Waitrose arrived?

I did go to Sainsbury’s, but as a walk from a friend’s house.  I’ll describe it

to you by letting you read this poem that I re-discovered in my cellar when

I was clearing out this week.

COMPTON DOWN

There is a way to go to Sainsbury’s

at Badger Farm. I must not take my car;

should study pyramid orchids, flurries

of paired Red Admirals; look afar

to St. Catherine’s Hill and ignore the gash

in the chalk. Shawford Church spire and village

stand like decoupage. I am not to dash,

but idly tramp under green foliaged

tunnels of gnarled branches, whose russet floors

will mute motorway hum. The sharp wheet

of nightingales and sweet skylark song pours

from the dense trees and herding bullocks greet

me with nonchalance, while a pink dog rose

profusely spreads its blooms against a sky

of madonna blue. The barley crop grows

silken tassels below thyme slopes which try

to outpurple hollyhocks. I choose jars

of such herbs from the supermarket shelf.

Normally, I’d buy in bulk; load my car

and not have time to walk and still myself.

Today white campion has more import

than stockpiling stuff I don’t really need.

I turn my back on the tarmac forecourt,

enjoy my walk and mortify my greed.

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