Poetry - July 2016

Still A Northerner

I may live down South these days
But my heart is always in the North
A place that I grew up and belong
With lots of quirks, of course
I haven't changed how I speak
My accent is still Lancashire
And for those of you who can't understand
Well, just listen carefully to there
I still enjoy a drink of Vimto
A proper Mancunian cordial too
And like how it is in Scotland
I'm impartial to some Irn Bru
If I'm feeling rather peckish
I see a feast before my eyes
Made up of the steak and kidney
Flavour of those Holland's Pies
I'd do my record shopping
In the fabulous Vinyl Exchange
And get lots of ace vinyl
With plenty of coins in change
I'd head over to Timperley
To see Frank Sidebottom's statue
And remember the times seeing him live
You know I did, I really did, thank you
I always feel a sense of home
When I arrive at Manchester Piccadilly
My Northernness is a part of me
Without it I'd feel pretty silly
So I may be living as a Southerner
But I'm always still a Northerner
With my no nonsense approach
And being a thinker and a doer.

(I am Northern, and bloody proud of it if I say so myself.)


The recent referendum caused divisions
That may have been under the surface
But what I definitely can see a the moment
Is a increase on people being racist
Everyone is a person and should be all the same
In the way that they're treated with respect
But clearly it's free rein for some so they think
That they can scream abuse and then deflect
Their opinions towards others to influence
The way that the honourable decent people see
Which is a way of fairness for everyone
Where there is a true sense of equality
It shouldn't matter where you've come from
The colour of your skin, or if you use a wheelchair
The country I know right now is so divisive
It really does make me despair.

(I loathe the fact that racism has increased en masse since the recent referendum. It shouldn't be, but Pop Will Eat Itself's "Ich Bin Ein Auslander" is even more relevant than it was on release in 1994..)

Southern Fail

So the train company doesn't employ enough staff
Which means all of its services cannot run
Random cancellations all across the day
Leaving commuters furious and stranded alone
This is the daily picture of Southern Railway
Part of the Govia Thameslink franchise
If you want to see how not to operate a railway
Then go to any station and see with your eyes
The front line staff having to make their excuses
For the poor and gross mismanagement
Where reliability is out of the window
And they blame the unions for their lament
Their train crew shortages have been the worst
Performing for over three years now
So to blame the recent strike actions on safety
Only shows the company acts like a cash cow
They wanted to close local ticket offices
Which London Travelwatch rightfully declined
So less people around at the stations
Meaning that help to our older generation is denied
Yet the Government allowed them to axe trains
Three hundred and forty one each weekday
In order to improve their so-called reliability
When in fact many people have turned away
Some have left their jobs, others have been sacked
Due to the fact their journeys were one from hell
I challenge the directors of GTR
To see how they like every morning and tell
Of their four hours if you live in Brighton
To try and get to London and not be late
I think they'll see first hand the anger of commuters
And the reason why there feels so much anger and hate.

(Quite why the Government have sided with Govia Thameslink Railway and allowed them to axe so many services is a mystery. The franchise is failing - the paying passengers know it, the observers know it, the Mayor of London knows it. And yet the likes of Claire Perry MP cannot...)

No Future

It's almost like being back in '77
When the Sex Pistols yelled "no future for you"
With the amount of fearmongering
That the referendum brought home to you
Both sides did their best efforts
To give you so much negativity and fear
That it was hard to see the positives either way
And try and reach a decision you'd hold dear
Now it's all over, everyone is resigning
Maybe they realised the same thing
There was no future for them after June 23rd
Instead someone else can come in
And attempt to clean up the political fall out
From what the next few weeks has become
And yet that Sex Pistols song is in my head
And seems somehow even more apt, as I hum.

(Harsh maybe, but also of possible resignation in that this is how it now is, and in my view, I get on with it, do my job, live life like I normally would and do what I can.)

Thundery Haiku

A crash of thunder
A crack of lightning roars loud
And down comes the rain.

(Odd weather lately it has to be said..)