Poem of the North

Fifty years of the Northern Poetry Library

From Canto 3

Are you ’avin’ a laff?

On the way home your train has ground to a halt
in the wilderness and you wait with Salome for a tram
under the scaffold wrapped round John the Baptist’s dome.
A thick-set man, driving a Fed-Ex, jumps the pelican.
On his porcine pinkie, a precarious phone is poised beneath
his chinny-chin-chin. He’s abusing the void, calling
You-Know-Who, Who can’t come to the phone right now.
You tell Salome you spent the best of Tuesday training.

Learning not to play what’s there in a repurposed chapel,
you glossed your teeth wrong-handed, shiatsu’d a new North.

You built a lofty giraffe from sheets of a Daily Telegraph.

View poem in Canto