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David Coldwell

Updated: Mon, 24 Jul 2017 01:10 pm


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Artist and writer living on a hill at the edge of West Yorkshire. Recent winner in Templar Poetry's Portfolio Awards. Debut pamphlet, 'Flowers by the Road' now available - Find out more at


The Football Who would have guessed that a small tree could be so vicious. All day you had kicked the new football back and forth against the gable of the red brick terrace and not even the promise of ice cream could coax you away, until the Blackthorn spoilt the game. That’s when you ran back, holding the thing with your thumb pressed white against its skin. You begged me for some gaffa tape or a party trick that would stop its very existence disappearing. The air leaking through the thorn sized piercing and the leather becoming loose fitting and looking worn. Stars with names of champions began to crumple as though a new black hole was melting them, slowly destroying them. We searched through cupboards and kitchen drawers and made a detour to the cellar head but found nothing that could stop the flow. You wanted to shout at it but that’s when your voice broke so instead I took the ball from your hand and guided you back outside, back out onto the street. At first we could aim it at least twenty yards but as the air filtered out with every pass the distance between us vanished as though we were kites hauling each other back. In minutes we stood only inches apart. Shattered, you picked the thing up, now lifeless and together we held it. ‘Let it go,’ I whispered. And as one we launched it, as though it deserved it, high into treetops where it rattled like a pinball before flinging itself out into the broken sky. Onwards it raced dodging a V shaped migration before bursting through clouds and somersaulting past an aeroplane on final manoeuvres. We shaded our eyes and watched the thing, now magnificent, circle and soar, and silently we traced its journey with our hands held high. It skirted the atmosphere, following satellites as though trapped beneath ice, eclipsing the sun to momentarily send our world into shadow before it charged through to a solar system where, free from gravity it pulled away, becoming a giant before exploding and sending a million stars scattering. How it came to be in the park, no one would ever know. The punctured years had loosened its shape and dirtied its coat. The stars were gone. Between the bandstand and Samuel Laycock it had readied itself for a new life; challenging the middle classes to team building tasks whilst sometimes practising dental hygiene for stray dogs. Once it was the weapon of choice for the group of lads that thought it would be fun to try to knock an old man down. In quieter times it would sit by the swings or out of sight beneath the trees. At night it liked to dip its toes into pools of water collected by the bowling green. There it watched passersby and occasionally it would glimpse someone it recognised, but too many years had passed it by to now say anything worthwhile. Perfect Green Windows - Live at the 2013 Derwent Poetry Festival. The Football - Live at the 2013 Derwent Poetry Festival.

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

Blog entries by David Coldwell

Masks (05/07/2017)

Another Year (05/07/2017)

April Birthday (05/07/2017)

Like (30/09/2016)

The Football (11/11/2013)

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Wk 25
1 event

Hover over an event to see the details. (Open Mic open mic event, WOL Write Out Loud event)

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Marsden »

19.30 - 21.30 at Marsden Mechanics Hall, Peel Street, Marsden, HD7 6BW, GB

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Ann Foxglove

Fri 30th Nov 2012 18:35

Hi David - a warm welcome to WOL. I really like your poem about the heron - I like to write about birds too. Hope to read more of your work soon.

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David Coldwell

Tue 27th Nov 2012 16:19

Thank you, Freda.

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Freda Davis

Sat 24th Nov 2012 11:00

Brilliant evocation of that transformation when the Heron takes off. I love this Dave

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