About the poet
Kit Wright (b. 1944) is the author of more than twenty-five books, for both adults and children...
How the Wild South East Was Lost
See, I was raised on the wild side, border country,
Kent'n'Surrey, a spit from the county line,
An' they bring me up in a prep school over the canyon:
Weren't no irregular verb I couldn't call mine.
Them days, I seen oldtimers set in the ranch-house
(Talkin' 'bout J. 'Boy' Hobbs and Pat C. Hendren)
Blow a man clean away with a Greek optative,
Scripture test, or a sprig o' that rho-do-dendron.
Hard pedallin' country, stranger, flint 'n' chalkface,
Evergreen needles, acorns an' beechmast shells,
But atop that old lone pine you could squint clean over
To the dome o' the Chamber o' Commerce in Tunbridge Wells.
Yep, I was raised in them changeable weather conditions:
I seen 'em, afternoon of a sunny dawn,
Clack up the deck chairs, bolt for the back French windows
When they bin drinkin' that strong tea on the lawn.
In a cloud o' pipesmoke rollin' there over the canyon,
Book-larned me up that Minor Scholarship stuff:
Bent my back to that in-between innings light roller
And life weren't easy. And that's why I'm so tough.
from Hoping it Might be So (Leviathan, 2000), copyright © Kit Wright 2000, used by permission of the author