Manchester, Oxford Station junction, on a sunday afternoon


“why ya drawing these?”
broad smile, neon-yellow worker’s coat

he piles road blocks
to a tower/clock, big ben_ an orange sea,
taller than

the terrorist attacks in germany
that a 12 year old schoolboy asks me about
before entering the bus on Oxford Road
“are you afraid?”

am an island, standing on a diving block
‘bout to jump into a chewing gum&stubble coated galaxy
is something holy
deeply intimate, the homeless’ breath
gets swallowed by the crazy traffic,
face a ragged map i have no right to read

“this city is not pushing you away” i say
but neither woes you

she puts on her stockings, worn, ladder fixed with deep black va(r)nish/ing,
her bricks that (if you dare to draw on)
tell you about history with pink&swollen lips

“so why you’re sketching these?”

“i— causeSheletsyou—”
& that seems honest

“can i have a look?”

he bows low, iN   h a Le  s

with a crumpled five pound note,
rolled into a tube, resoNating
with the hum of trains&stagecoachs, mad pedestrians,
the metal clANk of  cranes
whose wings are cliPped though stand–tall


clinging to his nose
He sigHs, gruNts
as if losing&winning all game of darts at once

i stuff my lines, wiggling, win_
Ding, black& back into my sketchbook,
about the big-enough-to–kind of love she needs
to sMile deliriously satisfied_singing her songs_the smiths
_over the eXhausts,
goThics, redBriCkConcRete



just back from the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Manchester & kinda fell in love with this city


16 responses to “Manchester, Oxford Station junction, on a sunday afternoon

  1. Ah, my favorite of the sketches. smiles.
    You know, i hear artists at times paint over their work – and it creates layers. Some only see the top layer, others realize it is there. This feels a bit like that, as moments dip into one another – –

    there is an intimacy when the man dips low to inhale her,
    and it is unsettling a bit as well. i guess that kind of intimacy can be.
    but we can feel that with places too when we peel back her layers
    and find the parts – both pretty and those hidden,
    and too easily judged ugly – but that make her utterly unique.

  2. Your poems are always so full of scene, colour, mood……you give is a glimpse of the scene you are looking at. How wonderful that you were in Manchester! Loved the glimpse of Big Ben.

  3. You’re absorbed it all in your art and words, and really in yourself too ‘am an island, standing on a diving block”…fun.

  4. Worn stockings may not woo but there’s something solid about red brick concrete…your poem pulls us into the colorful, noisy city sketch!

  5. So nice to read your poetry again, Claudia. I have missed it (and you) in your words. “Are you afraid…” a question I think we all can identify with in this day when we really do not feel completely safe anywhere, but we have to keep on living. We just must! As to why you are drawing…well, the answer is the same as to the question why are you writing….because it brings JOY! I’m back home again & writing. Hard after being away…..but…..well, you know. (Smiles)

  6. … lost and found … and so it goes … smiles … nice 2 read U again, friend C … guess now blogger is off limits 4 U wordpress peeps … anyway …Love, cat.

  7. it’s no strain to *hear* these moments in your poetry – you manage to capture and re-tell us these caught scenes, so vividly ~