Mapping the campus of Loughborough University – in poetry.

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Holywell at Night

Iron lights pout
from stands be
tween parked cars. A
work of physics and
corporate hospital
ity. Reception-desk-wel
come. We save.
Energy.
Swansculpture model
swanlife. Water feature’s
a safe haven.
Refresh batter
ry. Dayworkers pull a
way, driving out to
hermit cells from anchor-rage.

***

The forest plays with orange upland
rock, switching dark
feathered shapes across
the hill’s back. Here,
dusk rolls down the fields
to a concrete belly.
The upturned lights reach
into it, begging
to be taken home.

Aside

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,

water-braced,

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.

 

Strut Parts

horizon parts
pencilled barrow ground

trees line

    

winter posture horizon
angular arms strut parts

elevations sectional pencilled

bricks boys barrow
picture pixels ground

red of lost trees
white part pull line

    

a row of winter trees
each posture sporty

on horizon a hall’s
cube hovering over goal

in ground’s fore
rows of angular boys

spitfire arms &
diamond strut legs

boys as parts
of construction

    

elevations of pavilion
sectional sports
pencilled plans

bricks of posture
boys dig pixels

a barrow of ground

    

now’s loops of red track
a ship-side of white struts

only one lost crowd-part sees
a tree’s posture pull

lane one’s white line

Once Upon a Playing Field

dark winter-contorted trees
with silence’s speed stalk

a brigade of white shirts & braces
boys’ faces tightened towards

one eye

heels pressed to heels, knees
bent the space

between their legs
Sheila Na Gig diamonds

each boy’s birth is formed
from his own frame

the black trees grasp
the boys’ faces as branchy

wrinkles unfurling from
around their eyes

at last twig-crack
each boy’s waters

break and tree parts of
their old-man selves crackle

out from their fruitful postures

Space & Pass

………..…………an I am
………..…………drawn I
………..…………miss a
………..…………slipped
…………………..of perce

………..…………ption

slate flames clatter square signs a taste
of burnt rice re organised nine steel
plates slant to rouse waters wind prints
mood into skin roots hear a cedar’s
waiting sight along a line of years carps
on fire glow under green gels taste

steel at re organised year line spot
nine prints wind peeled earth the sight
of heights of wood stretch a concrete
slab between a tree’s grid & lower
number a rose of cracked stone imp
aled by a beam of eastings prints hear

wood on steel a clink of slate under
animal a slate space circled by start at
slant-mood’s waiting years gels at
green year pealed heights at slab between
number outlet valve twelve rattles daft
ly valve 14 is as quiet as a glow taste

spot at nine prints clatter burnt plates
at wood doing I miss a slipped space
& pass a fountain’s gap ………………..have
to re trace a panel of perception from
a cedar I am drawn like a spark again
st snow my feet feel slate scales slide

………..as a pass a
………..cross a wreck
………..age of an an

………..gle

Labyrinth


They had gone,
the followers.

*

Calm fell
on the garden
stripped from
creeping wallflowers
of 		Sunbury-On-Thames
I funeral walked the 
clipped path
the followers fell into step.

Next layer in
filled with		small things

bush speckled with star anis
little prickled backs
of conker shells
and baby mushrooms,
black withered pears clung
to bird-nest branches
peeping cold sky.

Final layer
still.
Leafy shudders on insect footfall

I crept up on the 
white flowers
poking smooth white heads
through white skin
and tight-roped the ivy
carpet.

Lost in carved names
I was alone.
(literally ... and poetically 
		of course)

They had gone,
the followers
strewn across the landscape
like petal flakes
that twitched on the lawn.