I have worked and wandered
in this land they call the North
Wolfed breakfast on grey Sundays
in a dark pub back of Bury.
Sat on trams on Saturdays and
snaked through black brick cities.
Stood on cliffs in Cleveland and
seen Upleatham under snow
Cycled on to Saddleworth moor
And drunk a pint in Dukinfield
Milled in Morrisons and mingled
with the crowds at Ashton Market
Sang at t'Builders in Huddersfield
and crashed in a council house
in Mixenden, surrounded by the
hoary hardworked hills of Halifax
Sat in Harry Ramsden's eating
perfect chips, after perfect pints
- no less than a two-inch head.
I've had me tea in Betty's
Walked the coal-seam beach at
Saltburn, gone to Guisborough
by bus, seen Roseberry Topping
Walked by graffiti wheelie-bins
In numerous grimy back streets
named after old Crimean battles
Seen the Tees from Southbank
and Middlesbrough burning
in the sulphur-amber night.
Wandered into lunch-time market
pubs where dark-eyed beehive
barmaids called me Luv.
Watched sodden Cumbrian collies
working, sat on trains in pouring rain
from Leeds to Northallerton
And having heard the red hat
and no knickers of it all...
A different land, is what I thought.
Being southern and no better
than I ought.
Martin Newell's latest collection, `New', is available at the reduced price of pounds 6 inc p&p. Send cheque payable to Newell to JLMP 2 Featherbed Lane, Selling, Kent ME13 9QU