Sunday, September 7, 2014

I walked by the canal



                           Ash Lock, Basingstoke Canal, UK


The canals of my childhood
Were dismal places of neglect
Their towpaths meandering

Disused locks were forgotten
Wild horses grazed on the banks
Whose crumbling edges spilled over

Wild flowers and plants bloomed on
Thrusting their flowers at me
And picked for mother at home

I met Jenny at this spot
And love rose for the first time
Signalling adolescence

When I finally lost her 
T'was a bullet to my heart
The first of many to come

The sadness of my childhood
Is recalled seeing it now
With a ball drifting midstream

Image from www.wikimedia.commons.org

20 comments:

  1. The near canal? Or the far canal? Yours was a long childhood of unrequited love, it seems!

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  2. I love the flower picked for mother...a little light and love mixed in with the dark canal...and the passage of time...and loss...

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  3. Love can just drift along if allowed to find its own course. It'll rise or fall seeking its own levels like water! Great lines old egg!

    Hank

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  4. Loss twas a bullet to my heart.....very full of emotion. Good job.

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  5. Memories resurrected from a place, good and bad ones combined to birth this great poem.

    Then I read your confession above...and realized if you can lie this well you really are a good writer!

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  6. Emotional poem...it's interesting how our triggers work...time passes and then suddenly some little or not detail able to restore the feeling seemed dead...~ Very reflective, peaceful with love - your poem.

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  7. Yes, this is very reflective, Old Egg. Nicely done.

    Pamela

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  8. Very good, especially the last stanza .

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  9. Such a lovely mental image. Near my uncle's house in Connecticut is a rail-trail (do you have those in Australia?) that travels beside the old canal. First the canal was built, then the train tracks, of course. After both technologies fell into disuse, it was made into a 'linear park" where one can run, walk or ride a bike by the restored canal, in the shade of the tall trees. Ducks sometimes leave their banks and wander the trail as well. The canal locks have been restored as educational spots. It's all quite lovely and whenever I visit my uncle, I make a point of getting up early and going there for an early morning run.

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    1. There is a walking and cycle track along the old railway reserve south of Adelaide that as a bonus traverses the wine making region of McLaren Vale. Now that is a bonus!

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  10. The first two lines, intentionally or not, have such a deeper double meaning that the whole thing starts off with a depth of profundity. And, I love the nostalgia that a simple ball drifting midstream can evoke....that's how nostalgia often works.

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  11. What a vivid image you've painted. So melancholic so alive.

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  12. Aren't you glad the canals are mostly now restored and bustling places of beauty and leisure? I'm sorry about your love life - it sounds painful.

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    1. Please note reply to first comment Viv! (p.s. I loved cycling along the canal banks around Meaux in 1952!)

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  13. A barge load of emotion in your piece! As for your picture, I walked along the canal at Basingstoke back in July!

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  14. Another visual treat. Thanks for the ride.

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  15. In childhood, it is just such places that call to us and we remember them for very different reasons. Your poem made me think of a very different sort of place from my own childhood. Thank you,

    Elizabeth

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  16. Chris' and I cycled to Odiham, checked out the castle, then wandered the canal for a while. The Basingstoke Canal Association have done much good work in restoring it to good condition now.

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  17. your verse is full of ache and vivid images of what caused it.

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