Yesterday I was varnishing doors and skirting boards. I couldn't help notice that the process of sanding, varnishing, sanding, varnishing etc until it's 'right' is not unlike the editing process. Before all that, I took my youngest to Preston and wrote this whilst waiting for him. It's had it's first sanding and coat of varnish and awaits the next sanding to smooth the rhythm in places and remove a few splinters.
It's like anything else, I suppose:
you have to get to know it, learn it,
hear the cool lull of cobbled courtyards,
see the majesty of the Corn Exchange,
let your eyes stroke the curves of the ristorante glass
and rough rust marble set into polished black,
accept the Meccano offices as fashions like Rubki's cubes,
return to Fishergate at nightfall
when its glamour dances across windows,
and shimmers in puddles of afterthoughts.
Be startled - as a sudden flock of waxwings
pluck amber berries from ornamental rowans
- here in Victoria Street, a quiet place
that has become a stage for shutters and clicks.
Don't think of the rats in the cavity walls
and the labyrinth beneath your feet, but
with the newness of a child kicking leaves,
see the smile of the Mohican youth,
the tilt of hips in jeans as she crosses the street
her traditional headscarf tugged by the breeze, trying
to fly where clouds feign indifference as they gather the fumes
and push to the pastures beyond,
where the Ribble remembers to ebb each day
so the heron can wrestle with eels,
and watch the city encroach on more fields
as it keeps re-inventing itself.
Photo of Preston Corn Exchange by Tony Worrall