Easting

Who first thought of planting a garden in Kent?

It is all chalk, clay, coal, flint:

Studded with chill villages, on the chalk ridge

Bean, Bekesbourne, bleak Bladbean and Bridge,

And Patrixbourne.  Under the down’s swollen fold

Black seams creak beneath Chislet,

Tilmanstone, Betteshanger, Snowdon, Sibertswold.

White winds bite Coldred and flay Hardres,

Split Thanet’s forelands into spiny shards,

Where the sea in winter sets, a frozen flow.

While South of the sullen Wantsun’s grudging trench

Creeps the Nailbourne’s bed

That wizened river, underfed and rising

Only in times of England’s woe.