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Flowers in the Mud

Bristol City Poet
Caleb Parkin

Written by Caleb Parkin

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Written by City Poet Caleb Parkin at the Clay Bottom street party, 11 September 2021 – on audience suggestions for ‘flowers’ and ‘bottoms’ theme; using the words ‘pizza’, ‘macaroni’ and ‘rabbits’; to be written in a ‘bad mood’


Clay Bottom AKA ‘Mud Bum’, look at the state of you:
you’re so gorgeous, you make me furious – like a flower left
in its vase too long. A flower which grew on a compost heap
and flourished into an exquisite bouquet. You’re so cute,


in the butt of this valley, you make me feel angry
in a contended sort of a way. With your allotments –
yuck! – chucked across the shadow of this viaduct
like macaroni in a warming, home-made soup.


With your habitats, your ‘nature’, your lovely little houses
like hutches full of cuddly rabbits waiting for a neighbourly
carrot. Ugh! I can’t stand it – your stench of freshly
baked pizza, your bunting flickering in the late-summer


breeze as though you’re a pint-sized adorable U.N.
Just stop it, Clay Bottom – you’re just showing off.
Pack it in, Mud Bum, at 4.30pm precisely, ish, or
maybe a little bit later, 2022ish, or whenever you like.


But in any case, here’s a flower for you: I found it
on a compost heap. I hope you’ve got a vase –
or perhaps you’d like
to borrow one?

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