On Tuesday, we travelled up through locks 9 to lock 42 (yes, a lot of locks) on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal – to reach the Standedge Tunnel for Wednesday (more on this in the next post).
There seemed to be a thread that emerged about rules and regulations, so here was my response for that day:
At Sparth Reservoir, beneath the sun
and directly behind the gleaming red sign,
teenagers are Swimming or Bathing
(and Giggling and Flirting) or any combination,
in direct contravention of by-law forty-one.
And rushing out from the banks
are pink-triffid flanks of Himalayan Balsam.
Looks good. Smells good. But it’s known,
says the leaflet, to kill most other plants.
(Like that Japanese Bindweed, their white
trombone tendrils adorning the locks
while throttling all other seedlings. )
And in front of the black-and-white notice
of a crossed-out squatting dog, a spaniel
is freely fouling and his owner casually
troweling the shit to the side
with a grass-wiped boot.
So across all these rules
and lines we travel,
on 16-tonnes of metal
on water, uphill.