While walking to work, I paused at College Green to look at the Skateboarders tree. A magnificent beast with its back to Bristol Cathedral and its front festooned with laced and hanging discarded sneakers. And I as I absorbed the full weight of my mortgaged life, I stooped to write it all:
Debtors bow to last season’s unfashionable fayre,
For hanging in the Nike air are reddened soles
Pre-laced and flung with ease to congregate upon,
The bared bones of isolated city trees.
Parasitical plimsoll lines bunch and slump
And blanch for fun at passers-by
Who just like me, flinch a glimpse to workshy dreams
Of unstrung night time barefoot wanderings.
This, so say, ground down young man’s wilful pledge was thrown
From tarmacked crack to privileged home
‘Be hold, Be bold, Let go,’ it said
And free your moulded feet from standardised pavement edge.
Make room, commune anew with wholesome heart and head
To see me and you flying free in a compassionate city scape instead.
Yes yes, to see we two gently cloak this current cold
With warming swathes of loosening rules as brother to brother,
We hang and sway inside each other’s dampening shoes.
To sensate a sharing pulse within fragile skin
To co-exist and string out in spaciousness and time
And in time to peacefully upon,
Fine threads so thin to shine out copious kindnesses
To both young and old to ward off this oft said
City centre cold, and boldly blow breath by breath
Bright Light from above and from below.
To make clean air from fresh leaves.
We too can deeply care for the collective plight
Of our delicately denuded dangling