Peter Knight's Web Site
Things for me, friends, family... and passers by

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The Isles of Scilly

Mr Gibson's Gift Shop

I don't seem to have a photograph of Gibson's Gift Shop, which is perhaps appropriate given that the poem I am writing about it focuses on the uncertain boundary between memory and imagination. The best I have is a photograph that includes an advertisement board for "Gibson's Gift Shop - Postcards, cameras, films". That's me looking out of Tommy Cock's car, with the old Scillonian in the background, in the mid-1960s.

Mr Gibson's Gift Shop

Yes, Mr Gibson’s gift shop used to be
Much bigger long ago than it is now.
It is not like those young policemen or
The house where I grew up, which only seemed
To get much smaller with each passing year,
But as of an eroded coastal cliff,
Or of a sand bar at the risen tide,
The memory, for all its scope, is real,
Of boundless magic territories lost
Where Kodak film was stacked three fathoms high
On shelves constructed from the plundered decks
Of brigantines and barques whose photographs
Were hung as trophies on the mile-long walls
Amongst the flower fields and winter storms.

Peter G Knight