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Needle in the Quilt
June 2017

This poem was inspired by a conversation between Simon Zonenblick and Steve Nash during which both said they felt they had never written a satisfactory poem about Stoodley Pike. I thought I would have a go.

Read at the Puzzle Poets 3 July 2017

Stoodley Pike, antenna of the valley,
Granite testosterone guarding the herd of hills and moors,
It draws down heaven's displeasure,
Defiant in its stance,
Strong and stable in its leadership.
The lightning flash, the thunder crash
Can only escalate its brooding force.

A unicorn recumbent, chipping away at the millstone clouds
Snagged on its fierceness,
It pinpricks the sheet-metal sky
Hammered onto the earth;
The disembodied hard-on of a rampant moorland satyr
Transmitting lust to the stars,
Progenitor of its own Milky Way,
Calder Vale's fertility coiled within its rigor.

It could be a 1950s Hollywood star
With its finely-chiselled, square-jawed all-Americanness.

A needle in the quilt of luminescent fields;
Beneath its shadows threaded hedgerows
Gather Olympian curses and hurl them
At the phantom armies in the sky,
The toil of the valley a distant murmur on the wind.