Lace


By Jonathan Taylor Davies

 

Nottingham is taller than it used to be.

From my window I see
oven red chimneys
and blue slate,
flecked with the kind of purple
that belongs to men
not kings.

I am writing a fee schedule
on crisp paper,
bleached white;
it glides freely across
the smooth wood of a desk
I can’t imagine ever having  been a tree.

I squint,
hard,
at the smeared pane where two worlds
melt together in lazy strokes of faded
tungsten light and mottled grey,
the terraces below a saline blur.

From my tower of steel and glass,
of painted brick,
smooth colours that scorn time,
I am looking for ghosts;
I want to hear about windmills
and steam.

I think Nottingham happened decades ago,
centuries,
and the broad streets  left behind by bold men,
by old men,
are relics of England.

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