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  • Writer's pictureCaleb Parkin

CaCaPoMo: By-Law

People defying By-Law 41 (image via the Examiner).

On Tuesday, we travelled up through locks 9 to lock 42 (yes, a lot of locks) on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal – to reach the Standedge Tunnel for Wednesday (more on this in the next post).

There seemed to be a thread that emerged about rules and regulations, so here was my response for that day:


At Sparth Reservoir, beneath the sun

and directly behind the gleaming red sign,

teenagers are Swimming or Bathing

(and Giggling and Flirting) or any combination,

in direct contravention of by-law forty-one.

And rushing out from the banks

are pink-triffid flanks of Himalayan Balsam.

Looks good. Smells good. But it’s known,

says the leaflet, to kill most other plants.

(Like that Japanese Bindweed, their white

trombone tendrils adorning the locks

while throttling all other seedlings. )

And in front of the black-and-white notice

of a crossed-out squatting dog, a spaniel

is freely fouling and his owner casually

troweling the shit to the side

with a grass-wiped boot.

So across all these rules

and lines we travel,

on 16-tonnes of metal

on water, uphill.

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