Poetry from NHI publications

Get the car from its nosebag in the garage (It starts.)
And if I don't check oil and water a mini-skirted
Papergirl parading across the driving mirror
Checks me. Put my arm in the sleeve of streets
With their frowsy look of come to the door to the milkman
Still in their curlers. Sneak out of Sheffield
Through the woods cobwebbed as often as not
With mist or darkness but brilliant in Spring
As the New Jerusalem, making me wonder
What I'm doing there. (The petrol gauge
Went haywire here.) The road begins to tow
The car to the top of the moors. (I skiddded last winter
On this corner. My nerves still judder faintly
At hitting the oncoming car that wasn't there.)
A network of by-roads weighted with villages
Catches the land where children walking to school
Are figures with landscape enough to give them style.
Wortley. A heavy lorry with a drunk's
Exaggerated care stops round the corner.
Thurgoland. Remains of a run-over rabbit
Lie in the road like a lost fur glove. Ingbirchworth.
(A lorry threw a stone through the windscreen here.)
I put my foot down past High Flatts,
The highest point between my work and home.
The pure and orthodox silhouettes of farms
Show every movement within the kitchen or barn
Purple scum of heather forms on the fields.
(Here the top hose went last summer.)
Descend by Birdsedge, Shepley, Shelley,
Kirkburton; a living museum of stonebuilt mills
I leave behind in the long run-in of Waterloo
To Huddersfield standing up as straight
As a platform party for the National Anthem
Unowned hills at an altitude
Where the drystone walls give up and streams herd trees
To the safety of valleys find room in my mind,
Enlarging the brain and distending the skull
To get in the sky, though all the evidence
Is weeds that prise the car park McAdam apart.
(The bumping sound was a loose exhaust.)
Headland #2

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