The Poet’s Tale

Tales from End to End
The Poet’s Tale

by Stuart Pickford



Disaster was built into his name;
By Eck, we’d sigh, this time
he’s done it
, a cast of thousands
following a squiggle on his map.
The blue one’s a river, someone noted.

We were stacked up in the minibus,
dropped in key muddy fields
as Eck drove off round the bend
or threw himself over a wall
and bounced away like a puppy.

If we weren’t checking the highest hills
were where time left them,
we were photographing signs, gates,
sheep and postboxes. Someone
rang the police. It was us.

I remember Eck in the sports hall,
polo neck jumper like a captain
of a British submarine. Truly
one-touch football, he stepped
on the ball and twisted his ankle.

He could’ve been on the stage
with that voice, true and clear.
What’s the best way to live your life?
we ask. By the law, by God?
By Eck – it’s up there with the rest.

Stuart Pickford won the Eric Gregory Award for Poetry and his first book, ‘The Basics’, was short listed for the Forward Best First Collection prize.

Stuart Pickford
Stuart Pickford

Stuart is a former teaching colleague and was always enthusiastically involved in the charity runs / walks / hobbles I used to coordinate at St Aidan’s CE High School, Harrogate.