Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 27 August 2012

  • A week of running beside the canal

    On Monday, three yellow goslings
    and the gander’s tongue thrust out.
    On Wednesday, three goslings,
    each with a dark Mohican streak,
    the gander’s tongue thrust out.

    A face comes back from
    Earlier times; freckled, round,
    brown eyes, and red, fair hair,
    nothing beyond ordinary,
    that always seems relaxed.

    The gait below it; slightly
    splayed and rolling.
    On Thursday, suddenly
    the may was open everywhere,
    its small white clusters

    like the rowan or cow parsley;
    the florets twisted, flicking
    on the breeze. On Sunday,
    one upon the water, its head
    tucked beneath its wing;

    the other adult bird was resting
    by the bank, the water
    rippling its drowned head.
    Of the goslings, nothing.
    On the canal, warm dots

    of summer rain. Among
    the grasses, Friesians walk
    from grass to grass. That face
    opens out upon itself; the bee’s
    feet touch the flower.

    by Ian Pople

    'A week of running beside the canal' is copyright © Ian Pople, 2011. It is reprinted by permission of Arc Publications from  Saving Spaces by Ian Pople (Arc Publications, 2011).

    Ian Pople was born in Ipswich. He was educated at the British Council, Athens and the Universities of Aston and Manchester. His first book of poetry,  The Glass Enclosure , was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. His second collection, An Occasional Lean-to , was published by Arc in 2005. He teaches at the University of Manchester. Read further selections from Saving Spaces, Ian Pople's latest collection, on Arc's website here.

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