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Snap Notts: Clifton

8 June 20 words: Matt Miller
photos: Sandra Bartley

This issue's poet and photographer explore Clifton...

Meet me by the leisure centre. On either side

are twisting octopus arms, those roads that reach

up and over the hills and down

past the yellow metal play parks, a maze,

each adorned with homes, houses, separate boxes, someone’s

utopia once, this all future once, remedy

for bombs, high-density slums torn apart for motorways


We cross the roundabout and everything’s old stone.

Sudden quiet village removed from roads.

Past the old school and renovated dovecot,

take the path to the left, past storm damage,

splintered trees, our only worry then, that February

of storms! Before the month that was to come.


In the graveyard by the hall, it’s an anxious kind of peaceful.

Like a spinning top in the stomach.

Inside the church, someone else’s utopia, once:
there on the wooden dais, gilded gold,

an altar, more than 400 years old, we’re told,

found in the 60s beneath the boards,

hidden from Henry’s royal raiding hoards.


In the next future after this, can there be space

for both homes and golden things to nestle and glisten?

Can there be no raiding or destroying, just building?

Octopus arms over hillsides, connecting.


The ring of daffodils around the old oak by the dovecot will bloom.

There will be a future, removed from floorboard hiding,



These photos were collated prior to lockdown procedures being in place

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