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02 October 2012

We used to meet here, you and I


I was born when you needed me,
my life what I make it.
The constant smack of wet on wet

Trains rush by, boy on a bike
unfinished symphony
skimming stones as far as
Brindley’s heavy mitred gates.
Spreading rumours
in bracelets of fog.

There was a fatalism
as she walked along the towpath.
Black luck, slams hedges shut
in a dark space.
The bruise of blue on bone.
Rigid and dead - silent.
Yorkshire stone
and dagger-beak
seal our fate.

Don’t cry for me dear father
I bow my smokestack slowly
The canal is deep enough.




Lines from 19 poets whose work contributed to the Rochdale Canal Festival 2012 were reassembled in a cento. Contributing authors - Connie Ramsay Bott, Janine Bullman, John Darwin, Sheila Stretton, Jeanette Lomax, Eileen Wright, Andy N, John Betjeman, Ann Oxley, Annie Wright, Paul Blackburn, Diane Cockburn, Gaia Holmes, Anne Caldwell, Julia McClay, Jo Bell, Pat Trythall, Greg Freeman, Eileen Earnshaw, Val Chapman. Submitted by Winston Plowes.

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