Thursday, 27 January 2011

A Leicester Walk Poem

Sirens are our birdsong

Sirens are our birdsong
as we break onto Bonner’s Lane
biro-beaks primed to gather,
hunt and scavenge.

left his name to the city
and here
on Gosling St

two half-gouged lychees
burst their rubber moulds.
Above, air miles are chalked
in spinal sky trails. Below,

tarmac deep, an ocean floor;
the predatory life of the streets
acted by an ensemble of discarded objects:
orange bottle top edges

away from the gaping mouth
of a sandwich-shell, mere inches
from the splayed fin of a fag-butt.
We swim for it in light

squeezed between buildings,
channelled past cruising subs
with black-out windows
and bass-bin sonar.

Breaking news is tidal, laps the curbs
wraps a tide-line round the gutters:
a translucent Pringle caught in the slipstream
of leaves and tissue polyps.

Our feathered constituents
scrabble for scraps on a mercury Soar.
The more we watch, the more
they choreograph our times;

liquorice-legged Coots
dart in from the margins
for crumbs
afraid to challenge geese and swans.

The future’s orange,
or agents thereof: a Doosan crane
picks at the brick-bones
of an ex-public house,

whilst men on Black Friar’s Lane
in garage arches, scrub in; massage
the internal organs of failing cars
hands slick with vital fluids

and in the sky top-right, mid-afternoon,
the pale coin of the moon:
phantom currency. We bag it all,
There’s no such thing as a Dog Pooh Fairy.

Simon Perril, DMU, England

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