Peterborough Poet Laureate 2013
As part of the successful We Love Words Festival, Peter Irving was chosen as the new Peterborough Poet Laureate.
Peter's poem is about Fletton, its brickworks and the high organic content of London Clay.
Clay that Burns
In this room of cremated clay
fossil trees heat the grate
and vitrified sand drips in panes
to frame yellow brick vistas
of back-to-back kilns and caves.
In this house of a million years
stolen pasts decay and caged landscapes
shelter naked apes and human clay
while stone floors erode to bedrock slate
and leaky decades let in the rain.
In this city of looted time
bricks of glacial mud, hard-baked
by fallen leaves, link together in lanes
and stack on the rims of evaporated
lagoons and lakes.
In my kiln home, time turns about the hearth
and in yellow ochre bricks, ancient fires still warm
this room, this house, this city – and my home.
I’m London Clay baked in Fletton flame
and that clay burns, that clay still burns.