Under a back-cover leaning shed in a field, the mudfog poet John Harrison is descibed as the curmudgeonly bard of the East Cleveland bus-stops. John angrily shakes his metaphorical finger at his own poems, accuses them of being some kind of juvenile delinquents - ...the awkward squad...make no effort to better themselves...think they're good enough...just sit there.
The 24 culpable poems have gritty northern titles like 'Mine-Disused', 'Red Sky, Saltburn', 'Phil Verrill and I, Coming off Nights'.
With kind permission of John Harrison, and his editor Gordon Hodgeon, Poet-in-Residence presents his own favourite, the shortest poem in the booklet. It may well have been written when 'the bard of the East Cleveland bus-stops' was working temporarily as a security guard at Boulby Potash Mine.
Guardhouse. 0300 hours
Warmer, as the night wears on,
ambient temp plus four degrees, snow
has turned to muddy water,
slush. It's dead. There's nothing to report.
Days slip by, Christmas, New Year,
nights abuzz with demons.
c-2007 John Harrison
P-i-R has a full review of 'Shutdown Fortnight' on the award winning New Hope International website. Click on the 'geraldengland' link (at left) to go there. The internet address of mudfog is www.mudfog.co.uk