London, November 13, 2010
From Wood Lane's ridge, through Queen's and Highgate woods: the ups and downs
of glacier trails that melted here and left their clay and pock-marked stones,
we three - three generations - walk where oak and hornbeam unbind leaves, lay bare
the woods' rough, twisted shapes, reveal a little hut with cakes, hot chocolate
for the child, we say, as we eat and drink - a family vignette
with falling leaves. We could be deep in countryside until breathless
we break through shrubs and find ourselves out back of M&S,
looking down from Muswell Hill, the city spread out thin,
thumb-smudged and hazed like mingled pastel paints. The Gherkin
to the east, and towers of Docklands. To north and west are shopping malls,
warehouses and sports arenas. Nearer by, we look out over backyard walls,
down into kitchens, catch glimpses of people's private lives. On Broadway
we browse, buy fish for supper, and take a bus for little Jack
towards The Woodman and Wood Lane, Earth tilting our north nearer the dark,
leaves falling, yellow, red, in waning light. This ordinary day.
Celia McCulloch has been writing poetry for many years, and has had poems published in northern anthologies and literary magazines such as Anon, Iron, Mslexia, Other Poetry...
She often goes back to her early childhood in Michigan, where she sat across the breakfast table from her great grandfather, who was born before the American Civil War. As for the skills of poetry writing, she is still learning.
She lived for 30-plus years in Tyneside, but moved to the Midlands in 2012, where she has been active in The Pimento Workshop in Lincoln, and performs with a group called Hexameter, also Midlands based.
She says, "I have a love/hate relationship to Wordsworth, but his Ode on Westminster Bridge is one of my favourite poems. I know a Latin American poet who also tries to write about what is disregarded - the not-grand subjects - and this was my attempt to stand up for simple pleasures.
Follow the link for a list of other Poems of the Month.
Earth has not anything to show more fair © 2018 Celia McCulloch: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.
Photograph of Celia McCulloch © Andrew McCulloch 2007.