Tag Archives: nostalgia

Cobwebs ( by Russ Crabtree )

Cobwebs made by a spider

So beautiful and artistic

Looks like expensive lace

Not out of place on palace walls or gentry halls;

To think I’ve got lots of them

On the windows outside our house

I see them glimmer and shimmer in the light,

For the day has begun

On my humble dwelling of a weaver’s son,

I do believe it was mother nature

Who taught my parents how to weave,

The threads are seen in every northern textile town

Flowing through them like an expensive quality woven gown;

I’ll rue the day when I have to ask the window cleaner

To wash the cobwebs clean away

Just like the wool and cotton workers they have gone,

It could be a lamenter’s song

Then I laugh with great excitement

Lots of thoughts and happy memories

Going round inside my head

As I look outside my window

I see the spider spin another web.

The Bridge On The River Aire

marks to be read
lines in a story
in tongues
we once knew;
and threads
in movement
thro’ stilness,
alive in the noise
of silence,
flow flowing
ebb ebbing,
a corpus of whom,
of when ,of how,
of where we are,
were,will be,
remaining remembered
renewed thro’ riving
purposed writhing,
reaching a not
purposed slipping
into camouflage
in its own setting;
of a particular
space and time,
now caught,
now released,
animate intense
passively resisting
our questions,

A German Requiem

Incense-misted eyes

throats baulked with pride,

scars reddened by droplets

a hand wiping spittle

from the Breviary’s page;

Drought-mouthed elegies

to ribbons burdened

by weights of guilt,

gleaming handle farewells

accompanied by Bach

to the warrior hearts

swollen with longing,

marking time with

the limping clock;

Yearning, yearning

for visions

wrought into maps,

iron-ore mountains

forged into Tanks

and nights of gasoline

when the Sea

of Ages parted

and Schnapps was Wagner

in our heads.

Alien Nation : Alienation

We went into the Valley of Elah

looking for victory and reasons to carry on ,

when we got there those reasons had gone ;

they’d quietly slipped away

leaving us with nothing more to say ;

when we got back

we didn’t recognise ourselves ,

we looked at our faces in the mirror

that only showed someone else ;

all our words too had their meaning changed

for something that we couldn’t understand ,

and we who were born here

became strangers in our own land .

Industrial Landscape


Charred chimney blackened

horizons wreathed in

cotton from the mill,

coal from the pit,

spinning wheel spun

ocean depth burrowed;

dark and darkening,

surrounded railway terminals

clanking clamouring,

crashing their weights

freights of billets and cables,

smithied and forged from

molten steel heaving hissing

endless streams whiter than

the eyes of those snap-tinned men;

fire-breathers off the graveyard shift

criss-crossing paths with their

cock-crowed young mates,

on crammed jammed rattling trams

rolling home to neat-boxed quadrangled

estates where daytime lungs ache

for more of that air and

early evening eyes strain for

more of that light

doused too soon by

charred chimney blackened horizons.



Broken Memories

The Chanteuse


crooning existential

torch-lit ennui,

marinaded in

absinthed vocals,

in the salons

and bars of

La Rive Gauche,

domicile to flaneurs

and bohemian confreres;

she is wounding

their hearts with

visceral monotonous langour;

amid smouldering pyres

of  Gauloises,

stygian-leafed frissons

of earthy odeur,

redolent of arcane

manual labour,





Stumbling along wet evening streets

glancing at the jigsaw faces

from years ago

torn and flapping,

trying to recall who they were

their names erased by years of exile

from the beams of projectors

piercing the spiralling smoke

with their monochrome magic

engraving spendthrift lives

with icons of fulfilment,

momentarily tethered to

hearts by a spoken word,

a melody hummed,


while we watched their ghosts

glide across the screen like

seagulls into the fleeting clouds,

where they were lost

to the naked eye.

Bruges Ennui

Lost in the grey

of an evening

in Bruges;

On streets I no longer recognise

searching for those bars

whose names I no longer remember,

where I was enveloped in a

pervasive aroma of wheat beer

that hovered aloft like incense

at altars I once worshipped at;

The Belfort Tower still towers above

an intricate labyrinth of crook backed,

criss crossed narrow streets

whose timeless mise-en-scene

admonishes me for not staying longer;

From a distance,

thro’ a smoke misted window pane

a jingle jangle jukebox

whispers inarticulately

remnants of a melody

that once was the anthem

of lives lived long ago.

Daily Routine

Every evening at 5.09
he leaves the office,
takes the streetcar
into town,
goes for a stroll
down to the park
by the canal;

there he sits
on the bench nearest
the ornate water fountain;

He dreams,
of a lost childhood
long summers ago
by the sea,
days filled with singing,
laughing and

Crying now,
the little girl
by the fountain
who has lost her way,
golden hair,eyes of grey,
reflected in his thick lenses;

As he watches her
he dreams,
of long summers ago,
a childhood by the sea
filled with laughing
and crying;

now in the park
he lies beneath a summer sky,
side by side with
the golden girl
she lies
very still.

Tram Journey

Silhouettes embark the

theatre on wheels,

bantering chattering

artistes of the verbal trapeze,

accompanied by accordions

of folding evening papers,

keeping time

with stone-tablet timetables

clattering through blackened

railway arches

circumlocating city square,

its familiar gargoyled spires

furtively conspiring

with fading autumns

our memory of them drained

dry of crumbled chimneys,

fogbound railbound cobblestone

terraced streets stripped bare,

shadows alight,

merging into air.