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Poet's Corner



Threatened cuts to the upkeep of the canal network around the West Midlands have The Stirrer's poet laureate Brendan Hawthorne musing on how the same mistake keep being made.

From the top o' the lock gaerts rusty wynda

yo con see yer way daern the cut

It silently reflects a backdrop

of power staertion an' forge mill soot

It's a stained glass winder paid fer in full

be the sweat o' the werkin' herds

oo couldn't afford a stoon in the church

or a maersons crafted werds

Them factory gaerts uv rusted through

or am missin' from their mountin' posts

That last rough jerney behind a tatters oss

seems to av silenced any ghosts

The boats lie sunk in silty sidin's

their colours am flaky but keen

cos it woz ordinary folk oo flew the banners

an kep' their families clean

But now the sun sets over th'ousin' estates

that uv sprung up from braern field soil

An there's no thought for the new wealth

served up be the navvies toil

But if yo'm quiet on a summer night

yo might just 'ear a boatmans call

Deep from the mists o' the owd mainline

or echoes from the mission hall

Yo might think yo've 'eard a snortin' oss

Sid its nostrils flared ahrt wide

It's all ter do with the strain o' the pull

when crossin' from 'ere to the otherside

Un when yo smell that smokin' stack

an' there ay no-one else around

Yo know yo ay losin' thee mind or thee marbles

cos canal folk ay left it behind

They'm still as much o' the cut as the've ever bin

an' they'm showin' loyalty to their trade

be transportin' every brick un bolt

or any other product made

They say they'm ridin' this darkened waerter

once more fer owd times sake

'An be ridin' on this darkened waerter

they'm leavin' history in their wake.

They'm leavin' history in their wake


Copyright Brendan Hawthorne 2007

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