Canals may no longer be the life blood,
the arteries of industrial heart- and hinterland.
Some may be clogged with rushes, silt and mud.
Some bear famous names: Grand Union or simply Grand,
“where Doges wed the sea with rings” (in quotes).
Dear Browning, give me our narrow boats!
From first sod cut, 5 years in the completion,
a marathon in length from end to end,
it may not stand comparisons Venetian,
but Macclesfield’s canal, content to wend
from Marple south through a dozen Bosley locks,
by ancient mills, passed fields of grazing flocks,
unassuming, slinks far beneath Mow Cop
to join the Trent and Mersey at Hall Green.
It’s residence to squabbling ducks which flop
and home to boats with names like “Faerie Queen”,
some nomadic, some on permanent moorings,
all victims of some poet’s daft outpourings.
The patient fishermen seem cast in stone
Till early morning joggers plod too near.
Dog walker ambles by with mobile phone.
His mutt, stick clenched in mouth, not clutched to ear,
disturbs a gawky heron at his task.
Peace, beauty, freely shared: what more is there to ask?
© Phil Poyser, Macclesfield, 8th./9th. September, 2012