Day 15: Clawton, Launceston, the Kensey & Upper Tamar

The first of two days on the Devon-Cornwall border before I walk back to Falmouth on the South Coast. I spent today on the north border, relaxing in the morning on a Christmas tree farm near Clawton, before returning to Launceston to walk the Kensey down to the Tamar and explore some of the border there. In the evening I called in on Linda and Ivor at The Bell and I stayed the night at Cyprus Well.

On Cyprus Well
It’s nice to return to Cyprus Well and to Launceston, it is certainly a tranquil place following the wild stretches of North Cornwall’s coast, and like many border towns it has a double nature. Its borders are not just spatial but temporal, emotional, economic and social, and I think you can read this nature in Causley’s poems. I’ve heard that he (with a glint in his eye) liked to refer to his neighbouring county by its traditional name – Devonshire, I think I might adopt it too.


What is this mouthful?
What is this back hander?

Why is there awful transfer?
Why is this mid heav’n?

Whose ankle is the sheet wrapped around?
Who’s the genderless foreigner?

Is it a bad luck johnny?
Is it the tonsilman who hangs above
the abyss of her yawning gullet?

I gave you the territory
I see your solid white face
You swear me ungodly gales
all afternoon