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John Lanyon: a poem

The Song of the Instrument Case

I take the hard knocks,

the gaze of strangers.

It's me who feels the weather.

Heavy and awkward,

a thing of straps and handles,

I'm the homemaker, the exoskeleton,

the coracle, the body-bag –

hard on the outside,

plush within.

I envy the way you touch her,

the delicacy of her body,

the patina of her skin.

When she cries

everybody listens.

John Lanyon lives in West Oxfordshire, where he works as a gardener, linguist, musician and writer. He is excited by the secret lives of words, the play between the animate and inanimate worlds and the spirits of places. He is approximately 25 per cent of the poetry quartet Four Wordsmen:

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