The Bell Jar: Jo Bell's blog

"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde

Springtime at the boatyard

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.


One comment on “Springtime at the boatyard

  1. Sleepless Knight
    March 9, 2011

    Now, y’see… today must’ve been the first day of spring. We both blogged about the same thing.
    Admittedly, mine had a lot less poetry and quite a lot more pregnant creatures, but it amounts to the same thing; Spring is on the way, and we will soon by showered with falling blossom, or sparks… apparently.

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This entry was posted on March 8, 2011 by in Writing exercises.
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