My Canal

My entry for the PoetryMapOfManchester project, April 2017


My canal


This is MY canal

       my morning walk to work

       my evening running track

Gay laughter follows me as I jog down Canal Street


Opaque black water

duck walks on plastic bottle slurry

duck house on bank

duck under low arch (youths skinning up)

cyclists duck cobblestones

Industrial heartbeat long stilled

chimneys tower over nightclubs

wharfside windows bricked

coal barge ghosts wait forever at closed locks

Smells changing with each mile –

stale piss under bridges

friendly coal smoke from narrowboat

barbecue from pub garden

(Don’t stop! Keep jogging!)

And at last, sky and trees and blossom

as the water widens seaward

Different at night – scary

strange footsteps behind

speed up pace, don’t turn around

try to look hard

(Beware the Manchester Pusher!)

But here, stop, look

worship at the shrine of Acid House

plant a club, grow a club, kill a club

Hasta La Vista La Hacienda!

Oasis in my earbuds

‘you gotta roll with it’

Time to go Home

This is MY canal