Something Fishy going on
By Steve Komarnyckyj, Aug 5 2014 10:04AM
I am writing a lot about Ukraine at the moment, but sometimes I like to reflect on the landscape of my childhood, the Penines and mill valleys. I grew up in a prefabricated, concrete, panel built house that was hastily thrown up in the late 1940s on the green hills above Huddersfield. You could see Castle Hill, the site of a former iron age fortress topped with a Victorian Gothic tower, from my window. There was a small recreation ground with swings, a see saw and a witch's hat roundabout on a strip of pink shale nearby. That period with the miner's strikes, the candle lit power cut evenings, the teenage "experimentation" with glue, the Capstan Full Strength, which made me throw up, the Woodpecker Cider... it all seems as remote as the iron age warriors who must have looked from the hill opposite my window when the romans came. Every so often something weird would happen like the time a friend of mine ran up to me with a carp in his
hand. He insisted that he had just found it, as if the pavements of Yorkshire were paved with ornamental fish.
The poem below was originally published in the North
You ran up to me in the recreation ground,
A live carp in your hand,
Held a perfectly executed cameo
Of grey Yorkshire sky,
Our two goggling faces
And the gable end of a council semi.
We put him in an old biscuit tin.
Whichever way he turned,
In the same direction
And always came face to face
With a reflection
Of a reflection…
It was a bit of a walk to the old mill pond.
Just for a second
He fell through the air,
A ribbon of fire
Twisting through summer,
A glass crown
On the water.