Poem of the North

Fifty years of the Northern Poetry Library

From Canto 1

Backbone

The contrast from here between hillside
and motorway bearing people and goods
into the arms of cities: Sheffield and
Manchester lit up like charms, silver spilled
from a broken necklace, vowels elided
or flattened by wind off the Pennines.
In Liverpool, Newcastle rivers are veins,
dark and solemn and wide as the gap

between effort and loss. Winter nights and
wind and music over those rivers, cold

or warm or dizzy and restless as blood.

View poem in Canto