In the last poem of the triptych, there needs to be some hope that Cornwall can rise again as a nation (as indeed it is – Cornish granted minority status within the UK – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) ). With the development of new technolgies and a resurgence in the value of the metals that were once mined (copper and tin) and the development of lithium mining, there is hope that Cornwall can thrive and begin to look after its people again.
The C.P.R. Tryptych
“Well Cornish lads are fishermen and Cornish lads are miners too
But when the fish and tin are gone what are Cornish boys to do?”
(Graffiti written after closure of South Crofty mine, Pool, from the song Cornish Lads, Roger Bryant 1994)
(photograph borrowed from cornishlithium.com)
Cornwall’s Potential Regeneration needs
Arrest the arrhythmia of broken hearts.
Arrest the irregular stuttering pulse.
(Arrest those that protest – where did that one come from?).
This land needs some belief, some hope.
Significant investment in housing;
Homes for the people already here,
Who maybe would like a first home.
Remember those built for returning heroes;
The between-the-wars Council houses,
Solid and well-built, (that kept the miners
And agricultural labourers close to their work)
But, now no longer recognisable?
Bought up, their practical lines softened,
Camouflaged to mask a tainted origin.
Vegetable gardens, once replete with Cornish Earlies,
Now turned over, lawned and Titchmarshed-up
With beds bursting with English roses.
Civic pride, once so abundant has given up,
Hamstrung by the need of greed.
Today, affordable means ‘build’em cheap’,
Poor quality homes that rise too quickly
For their own good and stand swaying
In their unsteady industrial footings;
Branded with brown ale-stained birthmarks.
But there’s no longer any heroes to build for,
Even soldiers have to sleep on the streets.
“Houses for people whose career options
And financial outgoings don’t allow
Them to save enough for a deposit”,
Doesn’t have the same ring, does it?
Treading water, they are becalmed,
While below the surface they pedal;
The water white with furious industry,
Gears set to insignificant as they power
The pointless treadmill of public service.
Perhaps we need to see them as heroes;
Maybe we need another war – how about
The Cornish Rent Book Rebellion?
Shall we march upon this new London
With our idle pitchforks, picks and nets?
A protest from the savage reservation
Or just believe in a reality-based Cornwall.
An Iceland with so many more people
Powered by wind and geo-thermic rocks.
A green and ascendant land but
No longer reliant on the blue screen backdrop.
IKEA at Pool is never gonna happen
When your catchment area is mostly mackerel;
But there is room for excellence here.
Why not Rick Stein Camborne and Red or Dead ruth,
The burgeoning of independent original ideas
Rather than charity shops, pawnbrokers
And C.P.R.? That’s Cell Phone Repair?
Communicate like Porthcurno and Goonhilly;
Purpose the high-speed internet and space tech
So that our children don’t need to leave.
Let them be brilliant in their homeland
And still surf the ocean at the weekend.
Make them proud of their Cornish heritage
Anchored here, no longer the forced diaspora.
Kresen Kernow…free to centre on Cornwall,
Embrace the language, history and culture.
A national minority, respected, resurrected
And ready to rebuild itself. Country not county.
For so long Celeb Cornwall has been obsessed
With how she looks, her beauty only coast deep,
Tweeting her selfies, counting her ‘likes’ on Insta,
A superficial media star, who’s made up
That everyone just loves her so much.
Maybe it’s time to make her ugly again.
Scarification, retrograde cosmetic surgery
Let’s open up the earth…work Cornish metal,
Bring on the lithium, the tin and the copper and
Utilise our hot rocks until we’ve got the will
To power real life and proper jobs.