BATRACHIANS

A wary nod suffices on the cycle track.
It follows an extensive reach where breezes
Dint the idling river. Clustered round
A sewer’s lid, cow parsley thrives, as muddied
Clouds abet the treacherous stillness of
This prelude to the weir where nothing shows
How such a lazy seeming stretch accelerates
Before the chute. Slowly the clouds go over
The edge of it onto that wide white slide,
While spinning eddies make a sudden rush
Between protective bars, and concrete ducts
Convey these churning waters into culverts
Open to the gaze below some grills. This
Is where toddlers and teenagers too have been
Seized by the vortex, dragged, as by the hair,
Down to a mesh the surface masks. At trestle
Tables, here, the weir’s enthusiasts
May brood, one to a bench, while boys with caps
Turned back glide by, darting glances at
Girls with distant hair, sat on the bank,
Their bikes leant together against a trunk.
But now the loosened water rattles on
Under thickly pelted trees where mallows
With their bloodshot leaves shield the ditch:
In which, stupefaction slows the pace,
But once a fellow seizes on his miss,
He’ll stick to his post, in ecstatic state,
Even should his hind legs get cut off.

(from ‘Dancers in Daylight’ – published by Anvil Press Poetry in 2003)

About anthonyhowelljournal

Poet, essayist, dancer, performance artist....
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2 Responses to BATRACHIANS

  1. Peter Wilcox says:

    This is very revocative, like. Any particular weir in mind when you wrote it?

  2. One weir comes immediately to mind – in Roath Park, Cardiff, but the poem is an amalgam of several weir experiences.

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