Let memory speak of time without stars
bathed in the sunlight of gardens remembered.
Beauty still remains, amid the brassy dream
unsentimental as this skyline picked by cranes.
Everywhere is elsewhere here, to be copied
or mocked, left to blacken or rot or built
gelded beyond the height of gilded arcades.
But wait. Do I come to pander or to praise
those conservations, to the pretensions of this town.
Or to find in refraction of refracted memory
my genuine affection, for a place I rather like.
I want to say slag heap.
I want to say concrete.
I want to ridicule the chavs on bikes
and the dreary view on grey Sunday mornings
as the 16a rounds Armley gaol
and all the world tumbles down the dog-shit slope
to the pebble-dash and double-glazed.
But that is not me. Nor does it reflect how I feel.
Or why I began in memory of that garden on the Selby Road:
looking out, through the hedge, to fields.
written as part of the Lead to Leeds