I want to build

within my culture

for my people

a round house

mud cob with wattle walls

tree post roof supports

thatch from branches

hay barley straw

grown in the fields

close by

a central fire hearth

skins for a door

& to do this

I need planning permission

building inspectors to visit

to submit

planning regulations

on materials used

a complete environmental audit

& then

if they feel kind today

I might be allowed to build

fill these forms in triplicate please

& send the fees

for Nest Williams (nee)

her people

did not like my people

their bloodlines

stretching back in this place

for hundreds of years

being born living & dying

within their five mile patch

of mountains

where my kind were roamers

drifters reivers

picking up culture whatever

sucking up stuff wherever

we could

spitting out the gritty bits

that did not fit

& always always moving on

& of course they were right

I left her after such a short time

which is not to say

I did not want to stay

or that I would ever forget

we were just different kinds

slipping my fingers

wanting to catch up

see the museums

pictures on the walls

hear the music easy

drowning out the noise

& you had it all

enough to give away

but wouldn’t let me play

sit alongside of you

boy from the wrong side

though night times

I had what you wanted

enough to keep you close

hoping to earn from me

my ears my eyes

the taste dripping my lips

words slipping my fingers


mine is an indoors culture


speaking in quieter voices

etiquette & manners

to be shown

& as much as I tried

to fight against this

I was brought inside


made to understand

if I wanted a future

I had to go along

& the bit I never

quite understand


that as a child

I was pushed outside

to play

where I live

grew up

has shaped me

in ways that I do not know

until I reach a different shore

land upon other fields

& then your ways

which you too

have taken for granted

show me in shadow

light up in relief

our unsimilarities

creating difficulties

or opportunities

for learning

but it is only then

in our conflicts

we become aware

of how we have been formed

by unconscious traditions


in our mothers milk