A year on the Mansfield Road 

Our Performance Poet, Isabel Footring, was the winner of our poetry competition to open for Hollie McNish! Read on for her winning entry...


1

Horsely Woodhouse, Heage and Shipley,

Alfrerton, Somercotes and Ripley.

Pinxton cranes gleam in the sun.

Mansfield, Chesterfield, A61.

Flowers tied on lamp post. Cars go by.

Wind turbines turning in the blue sky.

 

Soft summer verges hot and hazy.

Red poppy, blue cornflower, oxeye daisy.

Windows open. Engines roar.

Skegby, Hollinwell, B6014.

In among the teasels the finches fly.

Wind turbines turning in the summer sky.

 

2

A38 down Abbey Hill.

Ripley, Heanor, Langley Mill.

Frosty trees. The morning star.

Fly-tip sofa. Abandoned car.

Blue lights flashing, siren’s wail.

UPS, Hermes, Royal Mail.

Flowers on that lamp post. She was too young to die.

Wind turbines turning in the cloudy sky.

 

Rose hip, red hawthorn, bramble and pine.

Sutton in Ashfield, A619.

Too young to die but now she’s dead.

Hands on the wheel. Eyes ahead.

Merge in turn. Give way to right.

Young mums with pushchairs wait for the light.

The lights turn green, the lights turn red.

Hucknall, Newark, Ravenshead.

High above the storm gulls fly.

Wind turbines turning in the autumn sky.

 

3

Smell of Vicks. Smear of sleet.

Tedium of wheels. Turn up heat.

Roadworks. Standstill. A38.

Belper, Coxbench, Brackley Gate.

Black road blurring through the rain.

Red rear-lights on northbound lane.

Southbound, white headlights streaming.

Wipers beat, wet road gleaming.

Southbound white, northbound red.

Thousands of cars.  The road ahead.

Due caution. Speed camera. Give way to right.

Bantering schoolkids wait for the light.

The lights turn green, the lights turn red.

Mansfield, Newark, Ravenshead.

Come away, mum, he was too young to die.

Wind turbines turning in the wintery sky.

 

4

Tossed on the wind, the seagulls flying,

Blue light flashing, siren crying.

Hands on the wheel, eyes on the road.

Eddie Stobart, Knights of Old,

James Wilby Deliveries, Lynx, Great Bear.

Exhaust fumes rising in the clear air.

Fling down the flowers, she was too young to die.

Wind turbines turning in the morning sky.

 

Up through the rubbish the new grass is growing.

Green hawthorn, yellow gorse and whitethorn blowing.

In the year’s slippage when we were asleep

- Corporate Solutions, Bowring, OHeap -

The field has gone, the earth’s laid bare.

New homes ready. Last year not there.

Developers’ banners wave on the hill -

Larwood Park, Fairfields and Berry Mill.

New fences. Spring rain. Thinking time.

Read the road. Make the rhyme.

 

Hunting the hedgerows, a hawk hovers high.

Wind turbines turning in the blustering sky.

 

 

Isabel Footring 08.04.19

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