Bristol Floating Harbour

UNDERFALL YARD

MUD

 

Mud

Is a microcosm of world;

It forms its own

continents, islands, shoals,

banks, drifts, eddies; its

own deep sea trenches;

 

Mud

is unedified,

indeed, unedifiable. It doesn’t care;

it has given up

all pretensions to

any sort of social standing

 

Mud

Rolls on, rolls off at will. It

forms its own

mid-Atlantic trenches, tectonic plates, it

covers anything, brings

anything to a halt; kingdoms arise out of mud;

kingdoms

slump back into mud. its

peaks, troughs, valleys

glower at those in a hurry,

the swift, the

light.

 

Mud

Keeps secrets to itself in its own

muddy little way; down there under the Cumberland Basin

there is a perfect miniature Mount Everest

of mud; underwater mountains are not

snowflank’d,

crisp, white

but

brown.

 

Mud

Welcomes you

to the melting pot of the

nations. Here all is mud. All

secrets ooze in

here, all beings come unto …

mud. Verily here endeth

Man’s overweening vanity.

Underneath lie the

Ganges, the

Limpopo; over

there the Amazon. Our wellies

squelch.

 

Mud

Is the defeat of all dignity; it’s

difficult to be

glorious

when you’re stuck in –

mud.

 

Mud

What you see

before you; that which is sucked out

by sister moon, brother

tide under Brunel’s

sluices is not

‘mud’; it is pieces

of Luckington, Malmesbury, Chippenham,

Bradford-on-Avon,

Bath,

Bristol. Its

particles are scuba-diving

enzymes with mnemonic

receptors; they carry

the history of land, memories of

solidity; they

squidge

under the weight, slide out

sideways. Atrocities

leer out of mud; in

and out of

whose

jaws minnows

dance; they are green with

bilgewater. Things we

would rather not

know

scuttle over with

a toothy grin;

except: toothless. In

the mini-universe

of mud, scroungers rule;

seagulls flop;

an upside-down

dead

rat bobs up

and down

with the swell; flotsam

& jetsam. shipshape &

Bristol

Fashion; we

gel again, like mud,

to

distant concords, are

etched to

fetching paradigms re-washed. In

this necklace

of Bristol the

Frome Maidens

particulate; come harken to

their siren song:

 

we’ll sink him down with a long long roll

where the crabs’ll have his body and the devil his soul…

 

[One of the 12 sections of the poem ...]

Bristol Legible City - 4-1