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Tony Grist

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Gates (Not Bill) [Mar. 27th, 2007|10:37 am]
Tony Grist

They are putting gates on the alley at the back of the house. The idea is that all residents will have a key and transients and hoodies and mischief-minded kids will be kept at bay. I take it as a sign of the times.

Class solidarity is dead. Everybody mistrusts everybody else. Get the fuck off my land.

I'm in two minds (when am I not?)   

On the one hand I'm as mistrustful and fearful as the next man.

On the other, I'm all about liberty and the right to roam- and gates are against my religion. 

When I was a student some fascist bought a field we were in the habit of walking across on our way to the pub. We broke his fence. He mended it. We broke it. He mended it. We broke it.  He mended it.  We got bored and found another way round. 

And so the world wags. 

But the feeling when you rock a concrete fence-post back and forth until it cracks and then you twist it round and round until the steel rods inside overheat and snap and the thing breaks off and you toss it aside- that's a very good feeling... 


[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2007-03-27 01:24 pm (UTC)
Some graffiti artists tagged our wall. We painted over it. They tagged it again. We painted over it again. They tagged it again. We painted over it. They got bored and wandered away.

I understand that there are some notions of public footpaths trumping private property in England. Was the "fascist" blocking one of those with his fence?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-03-27 02:27 pm (UTC)
There are regular and long-running battles over public rights of way.

I've no idea whether the "fascist" had blocked a public right of way- but we were young and against anything the older generation did as a matter of principle.
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2007-03-27 06:36 pm (UTC)

replying with the words of another

Mending Wall
by Robert Frost

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'.
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows?
But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me~
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-03-27 07:01 pm (UTC)

Re: replying with the words of another


A wonderful poem.
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[User Picture]From: mummm
2007-03-27 09:10 pm (UTC)
So good fences don't make good neighbors after all? :-)
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[User Picture]From: mummm
2007-03-27 09:11 pm (UTC)
I see that Pondhopper beat me to the thought, and did it much better!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-03-27 09:17 pm (UTC)
It's a good poem isn't it? And it doesn't actually come down on one side or the other. I'd remembered it as a poem that pushes a point of view, but it isn't like that at all.
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[User Picture]From: mummm
2007-03-27 09:22 pm (UTC)
It's a wonderful poem... one of the best ever in my opinion.
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2007-03-27 11:03 pm (UTC)
No, it isn´t. It´s quite open and Frost leaves it up to the reader to decide which side of the wall he is on, so to speak.
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