Sorry I’m Late I Didn’t Want to Come: Buleuuelle
Today the sun smiles
trees bust moves, shower confetti
benches throw shadow shapes
new iron bridge shows off its curves
old stone bridge is still
as the Leen trickles under
and remembers (because a river can remember)
that for 900 years kids have come to play and run about right here.
And once-upon-a-time the people marched in hundreds
set down for lunch at these bogs
a picnic protest!
Stick it to the mayor.
This is Common Land, our land
And the public record shows they were:
impeccably well behaved and peaceable to a man;
indeed rather joyous of spirit.
They will always rally to protect this place
because this is Bulwell Bogs
and this land shall always be for the pleasure and leisure of the Bulwell people.
Today these bogs are singing with pride.
Boys and girls dip toes
wade through ripples.
So I dip in, wade through shouts and laughter
find four old school pals stretched across the new clipped grass.
Each with an eye on their kids running free
they chat about the days – oh my days
and I’m not from here, I’m from Arnold
(her T-shirt emblazoned with how I felt until this moment)
like Arnold is a far off land and she is an in-comer
like me, from far off Mapperley.
Charlene might write a book, got an A for that essay
Jade loves picture-taking, has stashed 300 quid to get a camera
A good one
And Margaret throws back her head, laughs at something the kids have said.
A small boy tugs on the lead of his dog, proud and responsible.
Beside us a quiet girl sits legs curled under, picking at grass clippings.
Down at the stream a quiet boy dangles his legs in, trousers soaked.
And I wonder if they will remember this day
like the river Leen.
This month's latest installment of Snap Notts - the series where photographers and poets are paired up and sent to an area to get inspired...