Andy Brown

Lark Ascending

No one knew for sure where Whistling Steve
Disappeared to – one day he was present
Digging holes in the road for electrics,
Sewage pipes and cables. Then he wasn’t.

A day at work could not be called complete
Without a stream of unremitting trills
Escaping on his breath; without the piercing
Klaxon of his catcall as a girl passed by;
Without his army riffs; his lark ascending.

When drains and gullies needed clearing
Whistling Steve was there, his shovel shouldered,
His lips alive with melody. But when
The world went wireless he simply dissolved,
Like birdsong fading in a rising wind.

Andy Brown has had many books of poetry published. He also collaborated with David Morley on the Worple Press collection Of Science. Previous books include The Fool and the Physician, Goose Music (with John Burnside), and Fall of the Rebel Angels (all Salt). A selection of his poems appears in the Bloodaxe anthology Identity Parade.  He is Director of the Exeter University Creative Writing Programme and was formerly an Arvon Foundation Centre Director.