Ian Parks was born in 1959 and is the author of seven collections of poems, the most recent of which was a Poetry Book Society Choice. He was writer in residence at Gladstone’s Library in 2012 and Writing Fellow at De Montfort University, Leicester from 2012-2014. He is editor of Versions of the North: Contemporary Yorkshire Poetry.
His poem Elegy for the Chartist Poets will appear in Citizens, Smokestack Books 2017. Here’s an extract:
Elegy for the Chartist Poets
for Ray Hearne
There will be silence after all these deaths:
the unrelenting sun will turn to stone,
the clocks will strike a final time then stop,
the drunks will sink a last pint and go home
down streets where a few cobbles still survive,
through squares and alleys riddled with the past.
The books will close forever on the page
in libraries whose shelves are thick with dust.
While up there on the long extended ridge
where winter tears the topsoil from the rock
and twists the trees into the shapes of souls
or in the valley bottom where the stream
ran fast to turn the ever-turning wheel
a voice will challenge silence then go still;
the sleeping lovers wake up from their dream
and fall to listening in the ghost-grey dawn.