A Satori Trance-walk

1: Garden Street to The Riverside

Satori asks us:
If thought, like spilt mercury,
Always takes the path
Of least resistance, what then?
Is it ever enlightened?

At The Riverside
The city is a galleon
Being hauled out to sea
By the temporal kraken:
Pause, whilst there’s still time.


2: Kelham Island

Sirs, please don’t brick up
The useless hole in the wall
Or knock down the frame:
Let it stand as a jetty
To land or leap into dream.

Something was made here,
Once. Algae slimes down brickwork,
Deep into grouting.
Breathe the stain of oil and spore:
Standing water gathers dust.


3: Towards Neepsend

Wells and Richardson,
Accountants; breeze-block Titan
Likely to endure
The downturn: blue or grey-sky
To capital conversion.

Pity brother crow,
Jilted by the sky – now stiff
As a burnt journal
For the jealous wind to browse
The secrets he kept from her.

Neepsend Gasholder’s
High pressure main curves and flumes:
Imagine the breath
Of a million Tibetan
Throat singers searching for pitch.


4: Parkwood

Parkwood finches flit
Through chinks in chain-link fencing
And methane pockets –
Their busy lungs are stitching
A filigree of treble.

This leaf-corridor
Slanting across the hill-slope
Filters North Sheffield
From view: soundwaves are thermals
Lifting it into the trees.

Badger poltergeists
Wake; tunnel up through brick-chaff
And roubles of glass.
They sniff the growling kart-track;
Borrow razor-wire for fangs.


5: Parkwood to Garden Street

The sun-facing leaves
ignited as if from veins
circulating light:
Those in shade witness, not feel,
The rapture of conversion.

Where Penistone Road
And The Don run side by side,
Cars race the river:
I struggle with the difference
Between feelings and hard facts.

Often on trance-walks,
I can’t quite retrace my twists
And turns going back:
My thread could be anywhere;
Everywhere could be the way.


Listen to Matthew Clegg reading his poems on location here.