WHEN a poetry workshop prompted me to write about my High Street, I just had to do something about the impetus to ‘Shop Local’.
That is a strong movement around here, where people are leaving the superstores in good numbers. Many now prefer to buy their groceries at local produce markets, farm shops and market gardens – and there is plenty of great food on offer here in west Wales, most of it grown and produced locally.
This is the poem:
Fall from Grace
They don’t go there any more,
to those aisles where they fought daily,
elbowed each other aside in the cause
of finding perfect, uniform sprouts
for the Christmas dinner.
In this great hall where they barged
to grab a bogof or a three-for-two,
assaulted by the sickly aroma of spice buns,
the scent of coffee is sour.
This cathedral of retail power
a single crooked trolley wheel.
They have all abandoned
the banks of bleeping tills,
turned from the altar of
50 per cent extra, to be free.
They no longer value the offer of
double points on a loyalty card.
They have sacrificed the
‘cut price’ flashes to put
fair trade on the table.
They smile at knobbly carrots,
they like their parsnips dirt-dusted,
their leeks sandy, potatoes muddy,
they savour the taste of the earth
of this home-grown land.
Oh yes, they shop local here
for the flavour of real life.