Sitting in the warmth looking over the river
Where my darts partner, Bernard used to work
When they did once make sails and tarpaulins
Before it became a pub where we could lurk
After our short walk along the waterfront:
Desolation and dereliction have moved on.
Many of the old chandlers and merchants
Premise are now very nearly gone.
Bare rafters outlined against a grey sky
As tiles and bricks have been cast around
To lie where they gradually fell, to join
More obstacles on the littered ground,
Easily avoided as we wander almost aimlessly
Surprised at how the decay has speeded,
As though it represents a past, the memory
Of which is no longer valued or needed.
The once splendid Lord Line offices stand,
Glassless windows, like blinded eyes seem
To survey the old, silted, grassed over dock
As though locked in the thrall of a dream
When the lock gates worked, letting trawlers in
To land the slippery, silver, gutted fish,
To be then sold and shipped nationwide,
Once the Nation's favourite cheap dish.
(Not the same need for freshness
Not the same need to hurry
As fish and chips fall prey
To boiled rice and Indian curry).
Here the bobbers manhandled the crates
In wooden clogs, steel toed footwear,
Hard wearing, light and ideally suited
For the work done around there.
These clogs clattering,
The steel toes casting a spark
At times to quickly disappear
In the early morning, pre dawn dark
This rich heritage, lacking care
Cannot much longer last,
As though the City is
Ashamed of its fishing past.
So we return to The Sailmakers,
In our dreams maybe alone
As teens leave the door unclosed and
Chat away on the essential mobile phone
Or smoke their cigarettes, now banned,
Inside in public places in what is now left
Of our once free and carefree land.
We have thrown out baby and bath water
In our rush to so called progress
Not seeming to realise we possess more
Materially, but spiritually, so much less.
Through the slow closing doors
Slowly Seeps the January cold:
Maybe I am redundant,
As I grey and grow inexorably old.
The shade of ever laughing Bernard seem
To hover here, as though watching me try,
And nearly always failing, so we lose
As my dart misses that elusive Bullseye.
TV series viewing moves upmarket to High-Class drama;
From East End-Coronation-type, dodgy, lowlife sorts.
Proof how the ruling class needs keep down that rabble.
Now screened in glory: square-eyed addicts goggle at;
Pining for days when strikers and Jack-the-Lads got the elbow. Read more...
Poetry - Come in Number Three, Your Time is Up By Maurice Fairfield
Somebody sentenced me to life some time ago.
For something I can’t remember doing.
Now as my sentence dwindles to its close,
Freedom no longer pulls me as it did.
My cell though cramped, is cosy,
And the meals arrive on time. Read more...
Poetry - Precious Things By Ian Winter
You are a diamond on a troubled shore
I am a stone in a broken shoe
We walk together in a sunless sky
Yet Still my shadow
Still, clings to you.
We roll and fall up hill
Against a thickening breeze Read more...
Poetry - Christmas Cheer By Mark Hillary
As remorselessly as winter itself
It always appears on the Christmas mantelshelf
Always the same cheery greeting 'from Julie and Pete'
Were they that ghastly couple we met that time in Crete?
Their address went straight in the bin
Once the duty free bags had released their gin
Why do they send without reciprocation
Poetry - The Solid Gold Mandela By Patrick Henry
An image shrouds around the last sight of Mandela:
The world crowds to hail, not mourn, the finish of his life.
Common sorts, stunned, losing their saviour figure.
Leaders act tributes: some seen sly and two-faced.
Dark ones, who run his land now: stand mistrusted, self-serving. Read more...
Poetry Alcoholism By Nicky Kelly
Woke up and said to myself never again
Fully clothed curled in bed
I lost count after a drink or ten
With shaky hands and a pounding head
Finally got myself up and about
Then it hit me that urge I needed a drink Read more...
Poetry - Can’t Colour In By Mark Hillary
This is a confusing city
Low and dull and not very pretty
Hull F.C. is one of the rugby teams
And much more here is not as it seems.
Really Kingston-upon, which you could colour in
but beware here that would be considered a sin.
Poetry - Try Reading Poetry - Featuring Video
To coincide with the 2013 Rugby League World Cup matches hosted in Hull in October and November,
Hull Central Library and Write to Speak recently ran a series of free workshops under the banner of
Try Reading Poetry, culminating in a special performance at the launch of the Humber Mouth literature festival 2103.
Presented by performance poets Joe Hakim and Mike WattsRead more...
Poetry - Watching Rugby in East Park By Julie Corbett
I stand with the home supporters
St. John’s Ambulance, those injured and the passionate unselected.
They keep up a commentary
Weaving plays with banter – wide –
use your flanks, butter fingers, up
and under, ref? is 'is 'ead still on ref?
Poetry - England ...This is your time ... By Robert Eunson
The two front rows are like buffalos
The hooker's like a bloodhound on heat
The centre half's built like a horse and cart
And the full back... he's called Pete
The rest of the pack they stand...unfazed
like rhino's waiting for the rampage...
There's tension and nerves before the game begins but
when they put on the shirt they won't care if it hurts Read more...
Poetry - Salute From A Fan By Patricia Gray
I've always loved the rugby games
I know all of the positions and some of their names
I like the team spirit, the speed gets my attention
It's a simple game with no pretention.
I admire the players - one stated aim;
To score the points and win the game
With strength and agility they run the field
With team ship and ability they'll never yield Read more...
Poetry Up North It's Grin By Michael Wood
In six days the world was created,
On the seventh came demarcation lines,
One of these is a stretch of hills,
Famously known as the Pennines,
They separate men from madmen,
They divide the east from west,
The White Rose from the Red Rose, Read more...
Poetry In the Car, Thinking Rugby OR In the Shower, Panicking By Jessica Leathley
What’s it about, this rugby? What does it mean to me?
I don’t understand it, I don’t know the rules
I don’t know the names or the words or the teams.
Is it Union or League I ask and I ask.
League Jess League! The exasperation shows.
Airlie Birds, Robins, Warriors, Bulls
What do they mean? What are those? Read more...