A Letter from Tu Fu

                  While you sleep off the drink,
high Jumbos score a lattice across blue –
creases to fold origami heaven.

                  I venture out, alone,
only intending a lap of the park
                  but am signalled and fired
                  by the tennis of light
volleyed off the mirrors of turning cars.

At Wadsley Bridge I clamber to the edge
                  that measures the city
where I stand, level with the power-lines
and feel the skin tighten around my skull.

                  Below me, 90 feet,
the mangled char of a convertible
has been tumbled off the edge and rests prone
                  on the railway tracks
while time pricks like a beak inside an egg.

                  I count 3 butterflies,
                  a hovering kestrel,
                  and the thee-ewe, thee-ewe
of some spry, flitting bird.

                  I would roll up this day
with a sprinkling of coarse black tobacco
for you to smoke out the moths in your head.

From West North East (Longbarrow Press 2013). Listen to Matthew Clegg reading this poem on location in Hillsborough, North Sheffield:

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