Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Abart Tarn

by Rachel J. Fenton

Tarn is thi umbilicus; to sever thisen from it is to sever thisen.

Tarn is t' choose no shoes rather than wear ones in thi bag
bought from a sun faded box on t' street for pence, damaged on t' tag.

Tarn is t' coyt tha wears for free until it dun't fit and then for sixty
pence per week for t' next year.

Tarn is t' bead er sweat that pricks thi skin when some bleeder bends
thi ear an asks, who a' thee?

Tarn is t' kid who waits till thar in skooel to seh ah saw thee
in Pahndstretchers and everyone's too busy laughing to whuk art,
if they saw thee, they were theer anall.

Tarn is three hours in t' bargain stooer to choose which presents
tha wants t' buy thi family for Christmas, return em t' shelves
and looercate one tha can affooerd, an all t' while be follered by a guard,
who’d be better occupied wetching his weight not thee on closed circuit tv.

Tarn is to visit thi aunt in London, go t' jewellery stooer and suffer
er umiliation, when t' shutters come darn, explaining thar wi er.

Tarn is a whisper that began as a draught under t' door, condensed
on t' winder an soaked through towel in t' wood er thy frame,
blackening, so that regardless er ar much white paint thy applies, spooers
allas show through; thar dirty face.

Tarn'll blow thi ouse darn and ne matter ar much thy explains,
what choices tha mecks, who thy ignores, what clooes tha wears, ar fast
tha runs in bare feeut, tha cannot outrun thisen; tha pooer inside and art;
thy will be undone.

Tarn is t' look upon my face; “am sorry, ah dun't know thee”.


  1. Fantastic. A Lancashire Lynton Kwesi Johnson. (from a Lancashire man).

  2. Close - Barnsley, Michael. Nice to *meet* you :)

  3. What a sunning poem. The dialect is daunting at first but once I get into it, it's glorious.

  4. Loved the Pahndstretchers moment!

    Yorkshire is so huge. We lived in West Yorks mainly and it is worlds away from Barnsley in terms of language. And so many other things...


  5. Thanks! I have a couple of Poundstretcher poems, Rachel, and yes, it's a world unto itself is Yorkshire.