Our new Young Poet Laureate and Mud Press founder, Georgina Wilding, treats us to a selection of proper Notts poetry…
I've been sat here, on the left, since 1929!
My oh my! I've seen some sights!
From royal visitors in all their finery,
to rowdy locals on Saturday nights.
Pomp and processions I've seen them,
I've even seen Robin Hood and the Sheriff too!
I can remember when kids used to play in the fountains...
...and funfairs...well, I've seen quite a few!
Menelaus was my original name,
named for a Spartan warrior king.
Proudly I sit with my paws crossed,
through summer, autumn, winter and spring.
Now, I'm referred to as Leo,
I'd like to think that it's Leo for luck!
As I've witnessed many a successful rendezvous,
when lovers have met at the left lion, miduck!
I've lost count of all the children,
who have clamoured onto my back.
Posing and preening for photographs,
so many kids that I have lost track.
My brother, Agamemnon (our Oscar),
sits on the right side, facing me.
For some reason, he's not so popular,
I wonder how can that be?
It's the Left Lion where people meet up,
whatever the event that is occurring.
So, like all cats I sit here smugly.
If you listen closely you might hear me purring.
Specks of rain fall like
Spittle from the sky as I
Head homewards past
An unfamiliar figure
A frosted shop window.
I feel this city through
The soles of my shoes:
Tilted, broken slabs,
Uneven kerbstones and
The places where the
This city I have made
An intricate paradise
Of labyrinthine streets
Ripe for exploration by
My awed eyes and
Snatched glimpses between
Buildings of fantasy streetscapes
Enthral me, and I know
That one day I must
Stride into the unknown
So much goes unnoticed by
The over familiar. Perhaps
It takes eyes like mine
To see what they miss.
For I am still
But a stranger here.
I feel I cannot yet claim
This city as my own,
But I wish to know it
As it has been
Good to me.
Sitting on a bench in the Arboretum, Nottingham
After James Wright
Over my head, I see the humbug-striped magpie
Standing on the thick black branch,
Shaking cherry blossom to the ground like confetti.
Down the hill, behind the empty bandstand,
The laughter of a hundred ducks
Merges with the swoop of passing tram carriages.
To my right,
In a field of spilled-paint grass, flung with buttercups,
A bright blue crisp packet
Glitters like an unearthed hoard.
I lean back, as the evening light lingers in the trees.
A woman walks past, pushing an empty pram.
Life without suffering is meaningless.
Us That Stayed
- then suddenly everyone was a barista or worked at the Cornerhouse Nandos or the conference centre and the only time we could all meet up anymore was when they sky was dark as a URL when you’ve clicked it and been taken from Facebook to YouTube where you listened to the song in its entirety because when you said lol which bit made you think of me she said all of it.
Gutter full of leaves,
empty city full of light,
a sky full of rain.
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