Friday, 25 February 2011

Origins of Norwich

ORIGINS OF NORWICH  Wendy Webb


Rising to the millennium, a phoenix from the flames,
Norwich Forum spreads light from St Peter Mancroft
to the higgledy-piggledy market, flash as lego bricks.
Origins wraiths the past in a gateway of seasonal ice skating,
opening up the BBC to carols by candlelight of piping requiems
and scripts of life restored or purchased new.
Here, where students lounge on steps, watch milling shoppers
courting matrimony, or a prison cell melting Caley’s,
tourists spread, peeping under covers of pricey souvenirs.
Here they pay and walk into the past, connecting with the ancient
cobbled stones of Elm Hill, Maid’s Head coaching inn and, more,
aspiring beauty in Cathedral Close, where barges wherried Caen stone
to the site; Pull’s Ferry reaching to a rainbow sky, which spreads
in womanly curves beneath the sheets of the wildest widest pair
of harpy thighs. Where Xanadu sleeps in Arabian Nights
of endless stories screaming like a mother; or a dog:
Black Shuck as wild and free as Boudicca, who raged upon her tide
and raped the Romans to Londinium.
And here the secret sensuous spill of words, the oldest book that woman
can unsheathe in revelations, oh, so divine: that blood and death
can slice a little dot of carrot where a woman finds a mate,
within a little cell where mother mews, Teresa-like, to fill the golden bowl.
She lies uncovered, pages ending fast, until the close where Mary grails the sky
and there the uncreated order pours.

Boudicca, Londinium
River Wensum, Norwich

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