Poetry - November 2020

Second Time Around

The R rate is creeping up once again
And resistance has been a little futile
The clock is ticking on the infection rates
And those who called all the while
For a circuit breaker to keep on top of things
Now seem like the wise in the situation
It’s heading into a restricted time again
And totally across the English nation
It didn’t have to be like this at all
If the furlough scheme had been extended
So that those who may have had to close their doors
Wouldn’t think that their job would be ended
It was something regional leaders fought for
And we should remember they stuck up for us
It was a show of defiance and uncaring
From Government which meant the North kicked up a fuss
One day we’ll see that an end is in sight
And with a possible vaccine that might be visible
But the way that it’s all been mishandled
By this Government is truly and utterly risible.

(So we enter a second lockdown and it could have been avoided, it also could have been shorter. Goes to show what poor management does in these situations.)

King Of The North

Andy Burnham stands outside Manchester Central Library
With a speech that shows he cares about the people
Resisting the Government diktat and dictation tactics
Knowing that he wants the North to be completely equal
The talk of levelling down is that which rings a chord
With many of us affected people who have suffered
A week later he is outside the Bridgewater Hall
And mentions of imposing the package are uttered
A Southern journalist attempts to shoot Andy down
But instead is shown to be pathetically wrong
As every single point is made to prove that up North
We need people fighting for us all day long
It may be a pivotal moment for those in the city
But those who knew Andy from his work with Hillsborough
Know that he stands up for the people first and foremost
And the King of the North will always fight for yer.

(Us football fans knew that Andy Burnham did have a heart and cared for the people – and now he’s pretty much as much loved in Manchester as Liverpool, a rare thing. King of the North indeed.)

Marcus Rashford 2 Boris Johnson 0

Very few people can leave a red and blue city united
But through his tireless campaigning Marcus Rashford has done that
With a mission to end child food poverty clearly defined
He acts with maturity and with a sensibility that
Clearly shows that he cares about the children
Not wanting them to go hungry and feel vulnerable
So when he took on the Government for free school meals
He was seeing from experience the difference in full
That it would make to so many families
And yet there were those who seemed so uncaring
He opened the debate for meaningful discussion
And wanted to be the one challenging and caring
The U-turn came and the meals scheme over Summer
Meant so many families had less to worry about
As the pandemic expanded in Autumn is was also clear
That similar schemes were needed, gathering clout
It got a debate in Parliament to see if was extended
And the no vote by all those MPs was a vote of shame
I clearly will never vote for any of those bastards again
But those that stood up will be the ones I will back the same
A few weeks later and with the tide changing
The Prime Minister spoke to Marcus and things changed
It was not the free school meals system per se
But other schemes which had been re-arranged
For me it was a sign that Marcus had won again
He had been dignified and honest throughout
Speaking from the heart and for the families
Gains him considerable respect and clout
One day we’ll look back and all thank Marcus Rashford
For the work he did to keep young stomachs full
And in the meantime the final score from Westminster is
Marcus Rashford two, Boris Johnson nil.

(Close to my heart this one, as someone who had free school meals in secondary school. Marcus Rashford decided to do something about it for the holidays and during the pandemic, and gained massive respect from all sides of Manchester. The red and blue sides were a city united behind him, and it showed. Well played Marcus.)

The Emptiness Of The First Class Carriage

Travelling by train for work purposes
You can’t feel but sense the emptiness
As the first class carriage contains only you
And it feels like the view outside of wilderness
It’s a surreal calm as you look out of the window
With the countryside speeding fast
It’s a sense of there being no one around
No people walking with their dogs going past
It’s a feeling of being slightly at unease in this world
But knowing you’re comfortable and contained
As the train heads to your destination with you onboard
Feeling safe and not so restrained
But it does seem symbolic of the times we live in
That the train is so empty and just you there
It also shows why the services were reduced again
As there’s no one to serve if there’s no one there.

(It has felt surreal for those travelling on trains for work purposes – even more so if you go first class and can be the only one in the carriage.)

High Cat Haiku

Brian the cat loves
The headboard and the sofa
Always on the top!

(Brian the cat does seem to want to be in the high places on the sofa and on the headboard of the bed for some reason…)