Wednesday, 12 January 2011

WALKABOUTSVERSE 113 OF 230

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