The Warren House Inn stands with heels in the rock

winds a - weeping round its roofs

or capes of mist creeping round its solitary back

Its doors always shut for the heat shut in

with regard for the fire never quenched

and above


the boards as you look up

to where the tinners often wenched

the stench of labour on them


strange lights would play on the rotten mires

to lure the unwary in playful deceit

but on a summer's day the peewits called

and butterflies in pranking conceit


the tinners drew their ancient spoil

their tribute for the scales of Tavistock

beaten down by wind and rain

under pain of profit and gain.


And all the while The Warren House Inn

would provide the wreaths of alcohol

and brains would spill with lavish laughter

when spirits were high with the toothless grin


seams were hacked at the Golden Dagger,

heaps left scabby by the running rills,

and the echoes of sweat rang out by day

at the ever pressing mills


but now those deaths have long passed,

all but a scare and a ghost

we see, as the wind ignores the hiving sores

of labour's toil,  lets loose instead

its fingers on the rowan tree

as it leans towards the moor's infinity.



IF ►


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Tue 12th Jan 2016 12:01

Very pleased Martin that you enjoyed this. I do have a soft spot for the area so got right into it!


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Martin Elder

Mon 11th Jan 2016 22:41

A great poem ray with vivid description that certainly pulled me in. I am glad I did not miss it.

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M.C. Newberry

Mon 11th Jan 2016 16:01

Each time I venture south west and meet up with locally
based family, we try to make a trip out on the moor -
taking in a cream tea (of course!) on the way...either at
Badgers Holt or Widdicombe. The loss of the rail link to
Princetown is surely a case of real regret, especially
thinking on how it could have been a superb addition to
the preserved lines that are doing well today. And what
a fine subject it would have been for a moorland poem!

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Mon 11th Jan 2016 14:48

Thanks Mark; I have been thinking about you and in particular I remembered that you had Devon associations, I think this surfaced after my poem about
The Miner's return home. Princetown is a real moor town and you may know it had a railway at one time, sadly wiped away. Apparently the moor was pretty cut off during 62/63 - I cycled over it in 1960 , it took a whole day of suffering. A place of immensity and of many moods and rife for descriptivity. I'm glad it struck a chord.


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M.C. Newberry

Mon 11th Jan 2016 14:14

The atmosphere is palpable, combined with a well-caught
evocation of the bleak life and landscape of other days
"on the moor".
My grandfather served in the prison service, latterly at
Dartmoor Prison and my mother had childhood memories
of pre-WW1 Princetown before the family moved to Torbay, where she subsequently married in the early 1920s.

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Mon 11th Jan 2016 12:05

Thanks all for your consideration - This inn takes the biscuit in terms of atmosphere, even today. It lies on the road that crosses the moor through the middle(not the A30) which takes you to Princetown and the prison.

It is isolated, and has a reputation over its long history
for having a constant fire, never put out! A great snug of a place with lots of scrubbed tables and random chairs, never been themed thank God. Right by the pub were two tin mines The Golden Dagger and Vitifer (another great word). The pub was the obvious watering hole. A nice antidote to bland tweedom in the catering world.

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Vicki Ayers

Mon 11th Jan 2016 09:43

It sounds a great inn! Love this one x

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Stu Buck

Mon 11th Jan 2016 09:13

seams were hacked at the Golden Dagger,

heaps left scabby by the running rills,

and the echoes of sweat rang out by day

at the ever pressing mills

(thats my favourite bit)

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Stu Buck

Mon 11th Jan 2016 09:12

a good one this ray. you paint a vivid picture of both night and day in the same place, and i felt i was sat at the bar as i read it!

Lady Denyse

Mon 11th Jan 2016 00:05

Beautiful. I loved everything about this!

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