Mapping the campus of Loughborough University – in poetry.


Open-Air Swimming Pool, Dug by Students, 1929-30


Shovels stroke on

sunken walls.

Liam Tancock doesn’t know

the rolled-up sleeves of spadework,

the wool coats’ collars in mist

against a backwash of trees.


Before the water, volunteers,

had tea for digging,

for stitching

the benches framing the edge and raising

a wind turbine.


His team never saw the detail of plans

hand-drawn: the fencing,

after the excavation,

down sweat lines.


The gala of dolphins:

a cascade

of divers,


against pitch ribs.

Motor-cars applauded

as they breast the avenue of careful poplars.


Now the coach sees information

streaming: his racer’s places moulded.

The solar light,

the second’s  heat, the hour’s crawl, the call

of pennants

down each sweet lane.


The dolphins wait in the car park

for a long-exposure photo,

a medal, in July.

The door of a changing-room slams in the wind.



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