Friday, 14 January 2011


Poem 111 of 230:  THE MERSEY AT DIDSBURY - SPRING 2000


Eb2 F2 G2 Ab2 G3
D2 F2 G2 Ab2 G3
D2 F2 G2 Ab2 G3
D2 G2 Ab2 Bb2 Ab3
D2 G2 Ab2 Bb2 Ab3
D2 F2 G2 Ab2 G3)

Took bus one-four-three,
    From Piccadilly,
Along Oxford Road,
    Passed the old uni’s,
Those shops with saris,
    And my first abode.

At Didsbury Village,
    The Old Parsonage
Looked neat, and gave sound,
    As I walked the way,
At about midday,
    To a Mersey mound.

From atop this bank,
    No longer a blank
Was the strong river,
    Nor the wide fairways -
Where I’d filled two days,
    Twelve years earlier.

I then headed back,
    On Stenner Woods’ track
(Hearing more birdsong,
    And seeing mossed stumps
Plus well-layered clumps),
    To a human throng.

This throng was viewing -
    Justly pursuing -
The smart Rock Gardens,
    Sloped on Fletcher Moss,
Which I, too, did cross,
    Before homeward wends.

(C) David Franks 2003
Hear here -

Thursday, 13 January 2011


Poem 112 of 230:  FROM AN ECCLES FLAT - SPRING 2000

The bedroom window’s southerly views
    Contained allotters paying their dues -
All kinds of veg. brought to fruition,
    And youngsters receiving tuition;
Starlings and sparrows I’d often see -
    On a roof or a nearby tree;
And, in a distant poplar, perched high,
    The large twiggy nest of a magpie;
In spring, daisies would yellow the floor -
    Matched by Forsythias, grown next door;
Behind terraces, a moony crest -
    The Dome of the new Trafford complex;
And the moon itself, in the right spot,
    Would light the night’s clouds up quite a lot.

The kitchen window’s northerly views
    Included an agent selling news;
A butcher struggling with position -
    Much sunlight aimed at his nutrition;
And a popular English chippie -
    Mashed-peas and red-sauce on top, for me;
White gulls dotting a sombre grey sky,
    Plus light- and large-aircraft flying by;
Walkers and traffic would make a roar -
    At peak-travel hours all the more;
Handsomely-set skies, toward the west,
    As the day’s sun took its nightly rest;
And a bucket-pond and ivy plot,
    That, on a shoestring, I loved a lot.

(C) David Franks 2003

Wednesday, 12 January 2011


Poem 113 of 230:  FOLLOWING THE SUN - SPRING 2000

Having moved, by buses, up the hill from Salford to Bury
    (To be within walk of new work, again),
These stimuli surround, between my abode and the factory,
    As I follow the sun - its wax, its wane:
Walking toward work and the rising sun, a morning chorus
    Rides the crisp breezy air of hill-farmland,
While gravel, of road and path, beneath my plonked feet crunches,
    And P.V.C. flaps on a silage-stand.

Bumble bees, tree sparrows and robins skirt along the hedgerows,
    Squirrels and hares hop ahead on my route;
While on a weather-wrapped reservoir - glassy, or dulled by blows -
    Glide mute- and whooper-swans, ducks, geese and coot;
Horses, goats, sheep plus cattle laze and graze on fields of green -
    Fields they, in turn, feed, helping make hay;
And, above, swifts plus herons sometimes grace the aerial scene -
    A scene framed by a moorland chain of grey.

Slugs - some rusty, others pitch-black - slither on a clayey path,
    That slopes sharply beside the reservoir;
And a whitegood on green-grass - a horse trough, once a human bath -
    Amuses me as I view from afar;
As does Peel Monument, atop a distant Holecombe mount -
    By which an uncle and I once took lunch;
Disturbed nettles - brushed in such distraction - make their bulwarks count,
    And a shed-side arbour demands a hunch.

One time, three sheep-dogs determined me lost, and rounded me up;
    Oftentimes, Metrolink trams rattle by;
And, sometimes, a horse will urge me make handy a grassy cup,
    Or nudge for a scratch down its back and thigh;
On cooler mornings, the dew on grasses soaks my joggers through,
    But beautifies clumps of whimsy grass-heads;
And, already proceeding on his routine of chores to do,
    A farmer strong-hoses out the cowsheds.

Caravan-people leave their grouping to walk the well-worn track,
    And milk- and mail-vans squeeze tightly by;
Antique farm-machines rust away in a grassed ramshackle-stack,
    And pigeons startle from their grassy lie;
In sun, fishing-people and bathers dot the reservoir’s shore,
    And, in shade, ferns the sides of path and stream;
Near gates, manure fills the air and makes stepping a chore,
    But elsewhere the views are a poet’s dream.

Magpies, near horses, bob around - perhaps for aroused worms;
    Laburnums sprung yellow, and hawthorns white,
Pleasingly, in nature, border the fields of farming-firms,
    And help enclose this Radcliffe rural site;
Plus, as I meander home from a day’s factory toil,
    The sun, when it sets in a clear sky,
Forms a large amber ball, behind a converted cotton-mill -
    Signalling another day almost by.

(C) David Franks 2003

Tuesday, 11 January 2011


Poem 114 of 230:  CLITHEROE CASTLE’S VIEWS - SUMMER 2000

From outside metres-thick wall
    (Down on leafy-grounds grown tall,
Then across stony-households
    To lush-green sheep-grazing folds,
And up further to the moor),
    Clitheroe Castle’s views soar.

(C) David Franks 2003

Monday, 10 January 2011



From a bus (98 -
    Bury to Manchester),
I got off at the gate
    To Hamilton Road Park,
Where in situ I ate
    Several blackberries
(The taste too good to wait),
    Before making my way
To a further park-gate,
    From where briefly I watched
How Stand's cricketers rate.

(C) David Franks 2003

Sunday, 9 January 2011


Poem 116 of 230:  MOSES GATE - SUMMER 2000

Bordering Bolton
    Lies land with lodges -
Grassed and paved around,
    With decking built on.

As well as these lakes
    Of human-made kind,
Croal, Irwell, canal
    Meet there like three snakes.

There’s ‘paths for horses,
    A birdwatching hut,
An info. centre,
    Plus walkers’ courses.

And, surrounding these,
    The woods have grown thick,
So, viewed from afar,
    Form a sight to please.

(C) David Franks 2003

Saturday, 8 January 2011


Poem 117 of 230:  WYTHENSHAWE PARK - SUMMER 2000

Wythenshawe Hall
    Is elegant -
Although, in all,

Cromwell above
    A pyramid -
Symbolic stuff
    On what he did.

The plant centre
    Has well-kept ground -
Seems gardener
    Likes fish around.

Sports and leisure
    Places abound -
A good measure
    Of games are found.

A farm venture
    Has food at hand,
And more nature
    Lies in woodland.

(C) David Franks 2003

Friday, 7 January 2011


Poem 118 of 230:  WHALLEY ABBEY...WHAT TALES? - AUTUMN 2000

Cistercian monks have clearly been -
    Their Abbey’s ruins can still be seen;
And, sounding for centuries before,
    Calder flows have passed - seeking the shore.
Lords of the grounds have, more lately, stayed -
    Their manor houses reused and unscathed.
Through beautiful gardens insects fly -
    The ruins of folk just a pass-by;
And, by viaduct, trains pass above -
    Folk, thereby, viewing a town I love.
Tourists, C. of E. delegates,
    Anglers and hikers have crossed the gates...
Opportunistic masons, kings-men,
    Model makers, Turner, and men who pen...
Perhaps the witches came down from the hill,
    And do ghosts haunt - still questing their fill..?

(C) David Franks 2003

Thursday, 6 January 2011



Local-, foreign- and natural-history,
    And a clock-and-painting gallery,
Are most neatly housed - in a most neat city -
    Near where Cromwell crossed the Mersey.

(C) David Franks 2003

Wednesday, 5 January 2011


Poem 120 of 230:  A GOOD SEASIDE DAY - AUTUMN 2000

Via the art gallery,
    Blackpool how it used to be;
Via a famous tower,
    The Blackpool of the hour.
Via a maritime Mount,
    Fleetwood with its channel out.
And, via a coastline tram,
    The autumn-night lit-art jam.

(C) David Franks 2003

Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool; 27/4/2017

Photo of Lesley Young's painting of Blackpool

Blackpool Tower and North Pier; 27/4/17

Blackpool Tower and entertainment; 27/4/17

Model of the Tower, within it; 27/4/17

Was a free circus, now it's a movie; 27/4/17

"The Blackpool of the hour" (above); 27/4/17

Modern tram and Comedy Carpet; 27/4/17

Up the west coast; 27/4/17

A cool stool; 27/4/2017

Pleasure Gardens in the foreground,
Pennines in the background; 27/4/17

A colourful row of terraced houses; 27/4/17

Blackpool F.C's Bloomfield Road stadium; 27/4/17

Down the west coast; 27/4/17

Skull on a roof; 27/4/2017

Lifesaving by the sea; 27/4/2017

Higher level alternative; 27/4/2017

The Mount Pavillion, Fleetwood; 24/9/2017

The Mount in Fleetwood; 24/9/2017

The Mount in Fleetwood; 24/9/17

Bedding on The Mount in Fleetwood; 24/9/17

The Mount in Fleetwood; 24/9/2017

Sights from The Mount, Feetwood; 24/9/17

Sights from The Mount, Fleetwood; 24/9/17

Sights from The Mount, Fleetwood; 24/9/17

The Mount from Marine Beach, Fleetwood; 24/9/17

Marine Beach, Fleetwood; 24/9/2017

Fleetwood's "channel out"; 24/9/2017

Fleetwood's Radar Station, Lower Lighthouse,
and North Euston Hotel; 24/9/2017

North Euston Hotel, behind Euston  Park; 24/9/17

Lower Lighthouse and mosaic; 24/9/17

Lower and Pharos lighthouses; 24/9/17

Euston Park, Fleetwood; 24/9/2017

Euston Park, Fleetwood; 24/9/2017

Fleetwood's Marine Beach, Radar Station, Lower
Lighhouse, and channel of River Wyre; 24/9/17

Fleetwood's "channel out"; 24/9/2017

River Wyre, Fleetwood; 24/9/2017

Fleetwood to Knott End Ferry; 24/9/17

Across the River Wyre, Fleetwood; 24/9/17

Fleetwood Lifeboat Station; 24/9/2017

Fleetwood's "channel out"; 24/9/2017

Scanning Fleetwood's "channel out"; 24/9/17

"Coastline tram," Fleetwood-Blackpool; 24/9/17

Just before illuminations, Blackpool; 24/9/17

Blackpool lights beside tramlines; 24/9/17

Blackpool Illuminations; 24/9/2017

Blackpool Illuminations in the wet; 24/9/17

Blackpool "lit-art" trams; 24/9/2017

"Autumn-night lit-art jam," Blackpool; 24/9/17