Julian Flanagan

Three Poems

Key To A Map

The stammering footpaths pull your eye
across the dyslexic geometry of fields,
around blue chip meres and spilling woods.

A séance tap of dead lanes
turning up as potato cobbles under the plough
or leaping the M6 levee between hamlets and barns.

All day the fast lane hums
with ghost herdsmen, labourers, farm hands
vaulting the memory of a style over cats’ eyes.

And all night the same ghosts cross
as suitors, drinkers, poachers
or the booted lay preachers of Northwood Chapel,

returned the cuckoo spit miles from Booth Bank or Lymm,
the Word sown, their hobnails sparking
hard shoulder tongues of fire.


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