Saturday 28 January 2012

Canal Basin, Linlithgow – 31/12/2012, evening

A barge tied up on the opposite bank. Its name is Leamington. I smile, but it’s all right, it’s dark, there’s no one else around. The spelling is close, so close. There is an advert on the side – Self Drive Hire. A smaller barge, like an island with a Christmas tree, is in the middle of the canal. The lights are on. This smaller barge is drifting to and fro. As I watch, however, I realise that it isn’t drifting. It is trying to reach a third barge, which is tied up at the far right of the basin. The name of this barge is Victoria. The barge with the tree will never reach the barge called Victoria. Something unseen, submerged, something not as prosaic as an anchor, is holding it back.
Leamington/Self Drive Hire/ the barge with the tree/Victoria.
Sometimes it isn’t difficult to imagine a poem, or, at least, the bones of a story.

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