Christopher Laverty: Two Sonnets

On Seeing Manchester at Dawn

The sky is charmless as a filthy rag -
as daylight breaks, the traffic shuffles filed;
indifferent roads are littered, bins are piled,
the clay-like Sun's first smiles with sadness sag.
The city's ragged as a vagrant hag,
and seems a lightless land for souls exiled -
yet somehow by this sight I am beguiled,
my spirits roused that in dejection drag.
I did not see - so hushful in the stone -
this loveliness I unexpected meet -
see these subtle charms all of their own,
that play around each weather-beaten street -
see in these buildings - that like flesh and bone
stir and wake - the city's hidden beat.

On Seeing the Aosta Valley

To add more notes to birdsongs would – I know -
only mar the passing hearer's bliss,
more hues just cloy the glory of the rainbow;
monarchs crowned would little gain or miss
if crowned once more for show – while here below
this scene is such that art I can dismiss.
Tranquil it sits in winter's parting chill:
the shops and cafes of the village seem
drowsy with sleep; surrounding mountains gleam
with fading snow; only the churchbells fill
the alleys hushed and calm; all life is still,
ruled by the rhythm of the gentle stream -
low clouds enfold the valley in a dream,
as we stand and watch it from the hill.


Christopher Laverty writes, “I am originally from Cornwall, but currently live in Manchester. I work as an English teacher and also in catering. I like to write on a variety of subjects using many different forms. I mainly enjoy poetry, but also short stories and essays. My hobbies include reading, music, films, travelling and scuba diving.”

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