A Letter From Tu Fu

          While you sleep off the drink,
high Jumbos score a lattice across blue -
creases to fold origami heaven.

          I venture out, alone,
only intending a lap of the park
          but am signalled and fired
          by the tennis of light
volleyed off the mirrors of turning cars.

At Wadsley Bridge I clamber to the edge
          that measures the city
where I stand, level with the power-lines
and feel the skin tighten around my skull.

          Below me, 90 feet,
the mangled char of a convertible
has been tumbled off the edge and rests prone
          on the railway tracks
while time pricks like a beak inside an egg.

          I count 3 butterflies,
          a hovering kestrel,
          and the thee-ewe, thee-ewe
          of some spry, flitting bird.

          I would roll up this day
with a sprinkling of coarse black tobacco
for you to smoke out the moths in your head.


Matthew Clegg


Matthew Clegg's publications include 'Nobody Sonnets', 'Edgelands', 'Lost Between Stations', and 'West North East', all from Longbarrow Press. He received an Eric Gregory Award in 1997, and was a writer in residence at The Wordsworth Trust from 1999-2001. He has worked as a youth development worker, a project manager and as an Arts Council Literature Officer. He currently teaches creative writing at Derby University and Sheffield University Institute of Lifelong Learning.