Graffiti plastered pipelines
             beneath the bridge
Black stains of campfires
             on hard packed slag
The slow brown beck
             beside the cyanide stack
Snowdrops between wet trunks-
             carol singing
In the river wind, I am tasting
             time’s passing,
The salty tang of spiked railings
             and barbed wire
Moss devoured moorings -
             the tugs no longer run
The furnaces and iron pigs
             are buried beneath
The Pudding Hills – I belong
             between the banks.
The marsh pools are frozen
             portraits by Jack Frost
And dead trees of rust point
             to wherever he’s fled.
No sign of seals by the barrage,
             the weight of closure
Floats away like Peg’s Suds
             towards Teesmouth,
We’ve met to walk the limbo days
             between the years
To tread the circuit and see
             that we are stray flames
Flitting across hoar frost
             where the incinerator
once stood full of oiled growls,
             the terrible bellows
The funereal smoke-ladder
             of all abandoned things.

Bob Beagrie