News, events and discoveries of the Walkley Ways, Walkley Wars history project.
Soot-pitted snow makes a causie-edge ice-world
Of dams and canals made from hard packed ice silt,
Water runs to the grate by the course we’ve dictated,
An engineered marvel six vagabonds built.
Not that yellow snow Vincent it’s dog wee, don’t touch it!
Misty laughs in the guttering gloom of the day,
Balaclava snot sets on our chapped lips and noses,
In this post-world war world we all learn how to play.
Summer nights the trip hammer will thunder at bedtime,
Steel-hardened, rock-steady, sweaty whump, metal groan
Straining arms guide the fierce red-hot billets for shaping
Till the brute iron despot lets tired servants go home.
But our bedroom’s a refuge of blurry grey outlines
Stolen radio music, static ecstatic whine,
Muffling pillow’s my saviour while Chuck Berry’s driving
My heart and the beat, and the hammer’s in time.
I went back there you know, although maybe I dreamt it
Walls missing, mere outlines of lives that moved on
I walked round and round what was left of the footings,
It didn’t take long, twenty years here – then gone.