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Ridgeway

Bristol City Poet
Caleb Parkin, image Eyes Up Films

Written by Caleb Parkin

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Commissioned by Bristol City Council for Bristol Remembers, the first anniversary of the coronavirus lockdown.

Up here, the suburbs broadcast
over hot air tonight: a beat, a cry,
a siren – the evening as close
and still as a cyclone’s eye.
We loop Ridgeway Field once
again, where the dogs disturb
us with their closeness. Not even
the trees’ vivid flags stir: their branch-
tip semaphore ignoring autumn.
Returning, at the top of the stairs
a red flare arcs overhead as applause
begins to swell over the rooftops.
Here on this ridge, a man and two
dogs become wide-eyed flotsam:  
our gaze awash on the city’s horizon,
the dark graph of its buildings; 
its roaring, unfathomable tides.

Ridgeway was written for Bristol Remembers, a film produced in collaboration with faith and city leaders to mark the first anniversary of the coronavirus lockdown. You can watch the film below. Caleb’s performance start at 18:21

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