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The perfect Bivvi

The perfect bivvi will be level and flat

  • Writer's picturemeldennison

Grim up north

Being a northern soul I have written a few poems about the history, landscape and culture of Yorkshire. Here is a selection for you, which I hope you will find stimulating. Let me know what you think.

Bradford Beck


Named by people from the North

Beckkr meaning stream

Broad Ford

Born in Keelham

Trickling down through High Birk and Hole Bottom

You were once crossed at Broad Stones

Carrying the scars of history

A site for human cruelty -

Men who ducked witches

'Unruly women' chucked

From your banks

As others looked on

How many sank?

Once called the filthiest river in England

Foul smelling

Blacker than the coal flowing through

Bradford's industrial heart

You are now diverted,


Mistreated and


Sewage overflow clogging your veins,

Hidden from view, ashamed,

Under the streets of Bradford

But environmental campaigns

Offer you redemption,

And emerging at Shipley into the light, you breathe –

Gently kissing the Aire.


Melissa Dennison April 23

My Bradford



This landscape of tarmac, concrete, and cobbles

with snickets and ginnels

that spirit you away,


down ancient Holloways

and lanes

to hopeful redevelopments


famed curry houses;


mushy peas and


fish n' chip teas.

Scraps n' cakes in butties,

birthplace of the independent Labour Party -


A proper northern powerhouse






and rioting,

where purple heather is growing

on hills that appear timeless






erodes -


nothing ever stays the same.

Yorkshire monsoon



morse code on glass,

even the trees are taking shelter -

huddled up

nestling together.

Dalmatian spots

patterned leaves,

hydrangea heads


Bedraggled buddleia

with blooms

weighed down

left to its own devices -

Butterflies abandoning play,

hunkering down

waiting it out;

the garden looks like it needs

a good wringing out!


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