"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde
Less is more, darlings, but hopefully this is all the better for being short. It came out of notes made on my many train journeys this week. A shiny five-pence piece for anyone who can tell me where the flight of 21 locks is on my route from London to Macclesfield via Birmingham… Meanwhile, more than halfway through my time on SED it’s high time you saw something from the brilliant Ian Duhig. Like me, Ian draws on history all the time – and like me, he doesn’t see it as something that should be treated with particular reverence. Read or hear his poem Fundamentals here.
Under the flyover, the 21 deep locks;
a flight of graves. And then
the road, the yellow houses,
neither-nor-lands, scrub and stream.
The new estates with spider plants
and backyard trampolines and
thoroughfares that follow packhorse trails
into the dog-walk scraps of field
where ridge and furrow still lies
one span high and one stride wide,
wrinkling the land like a furrowed brow
trying to remember something.