"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde
I wouldn’t take anything for granted; we may still wake up to find that 6ft of snow has fallen overnight. But spring is making little forays into the hedgerows and verges. Here at the Macclesfield Home for the Unusual where my boat and I spent the winter, the signs of spring are equally distinctive. The sound of power tools fills my heart with seasonal joy. So I thought I’d revive this poem, which last year was in the top three for the Buxton Poetry Competition.
Springtime at the Boatyard
You can keep your cuckoos.
We hear Spring’s first song
in the sound of angle-grinders,
brazen as a mating call across the yard:
the saw blades and the welders,
working between weathers
like a nesting bird; and swarf
as bright as daffodils on workshop floors.
You can keep your catkins;
we have rust like pollen on our skins.
We walk between steel shells
and smell the fresh blue boiler suits
of all the coming days,
when warmth will stretch our hulls
and make of summer evenings a shed
for building this year’s stories.