Winston Plowes lives in Calderdale aboard his floating home, which doubles as lodgings for lost and wayward words. He is a teacher of creative writing at primary schools and universities. His collection of surrealist found poetry Telephones, Love Hearts & Jellyfish, Electric Press was published in 2016.
This cohesive collection manages to leaven the anonymity of Britain’s “beautiful and strange” motorway system with the deft touch of those who have inhabited and been affected by these superficially nondescript settings. The deeply felt work leaves its impression in its strength of imagery. “We are all nameless travellers on the edge of leaving.” Michael Brown
The Secret Life of Car Parks
M62, Westbound, Birch Services at dusk
Each sugared hour saw the calm fall;
each minute, another gear change
tailing off into the softening hush
of a cathedral night.
But some things that don’t usually wake up, did.
Parking spaces shrugged off their rectangular form:
some became circles or ellipses;
others overlapped with abandon.
Double yellows mounted the pavement,
sashayed and plaited off into the distance.
Some made fancy curlicues, ringlets and gyres
and parallelism was passé.
The dashes ran rings round the cats’ eyes,
made a portrait in the style of Picasso
with a give-way triangle
and played Tetris between the hash lines.
And the letters on the tarmac made anagrams,
spelling ‘Goodbye’ to mother-and-child symbols
that skipped down the slipway
forever holding hands.