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Tilting at Windmills

For N. K.

When I look back at my attempts to set a mission
For my students of design: to think about the waste
Of using up their only life on earth as hacks,
Paid to generate consumer wallet-itch without end,
Tilting at windmills is how I have to think of them.
And yet it was my sculptor friend
Who took to Don Quixote as a major theme.

His exploits in the world of art may now be seen in Tuscany
In a hilltop town that he’s made very much his own.
Outside the church there stands his ‘Good Samaritan’
Other major works are set up in the square;
His studio in its old frantoio on the walls of the paese,
Testament to a lifetime spent in guerrilla war
On Establishment historians of painting and of sculpture.

His many works in Casole
Will rate a spot in tourist guides one day:
‘Do look in if you’re passing near,
You’ll find his presence everywhere.
An Englishman abroad who made his mark there
And gave a humble village an appetite for culture.’

The legacy of my heroics is much smaller and contained
Within the covers of a book. It’s easy to overlook.
But you don’t have to go to Italy to see it!