Saturday, 1 September 2012

Poem - A lock, lock-in

A lock-in where I grew up was the after hours drinking extension by invitation only following the withdrawal from midland bank of a howling voucher. Said voucher started at a mere £5 for 15 year olds rising quickly to £20 for us veterans. In the late 80's that went an awfully long way! Howling vouchers were strictly for the individual and not to be shared, rounds were for the old folk.

The approach to Brum was with trepidation
So much to look at with eyes of admiration
How did they build that, more importantly why
Glory years of engineering now gone by

Who would have thought that beneath your seat
was this magnificent engineering feat
As you hurtle past above concrete pillars
in Juggernaut and ozone killers

The cavernous M6 hides Salford junction
Without which years of history wouldn't function
bridges of iron and ornate stone
will never again see the light of sun

Heron still fish and and pigeons fly, where
they built the roads over us but I ask myself why
office blocks sit where chimneys ought t'
alongside a canal that has no water

I'm in lock 10 near the bottom of the flight
determined to be cheerful but try as I might
to accept the words of the waterways chap
two hours to fill two pounds is just cr**

I'd be surprised at much less than a day
before we are winding our weary way
up through to Brum via twenty three locks
in our steal and American oak lined box

Two locks up at lock number eight
another boat in our direction waits
There's no pike or coy or rudd or tench
Just an ever growing rotting stench

of the detritus usually well below level
now showing its ugly rotting mettle
With trolley, car seats, bikes and chairs
and of traffic cones keeping strangely in pairs

There is nothing more that we can do
but sit in the lock with number four brew
sitting and waiting can be an idle sin
but feel free to join me in my lock lock-in

Was it you who left the paddle's open?
Stuck in Lock 10

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