Sandra is back with a fascinating look at social history, seen through the singular lens of the Back Alley! Celebrating the recent changes made by her local community, that have brought the abandoned back alleys into communal use once more.
The third selection by our guest editor Kinsman had a very direct appeal. They said "On a personal note, I live in Stalybridge which has historically been a centre of protest and campaigning for civil rights among workers. For me the most effective political protest draws upon our histories. This poem very much understands it … Continue reading J.B, a Checkout Operator meets Factory Girl, E.H.
For an audio version of this poem, please click here. Women of Steel We are sisters who clank through the streets on rustless feet and chain-linked arms the deep pull of ore in our loins – calls of ancestors deep in the rocks of yolk and plum and rust. I polish her toes ‘til they … Continue reading Women of Steel by Rachel Bower
W10 Those thick-skinned women who brought out suds and sponges in buckets, rested them in doorways, kneeling in their slippers, they’d scrub and scrub. It was all about keeping the modest porch dirt-free daily and looking well. The old dears of W10, so much pride. The ones who told tales of real life … Continue reading W10 by Laurie Bolger
Playing with Fire In childhood, summer fires would sweep the mineral line, bringing the local brigade bell-clanging down our road. Whooping in their wake a comet tail of kids. In those days of steam a stoker’s fag-end ash, a stray glead, could easily kindle the straw-dry grass. With snapped Elder branch, or a borrowed … Continue reading Two poems by Tom Moody
Dreams of Children Walking up the hill to the poetry class, talking to myself as if a mad man, of how tonight I will encourage the students to write vivid and historical verse. I’m trying to remember the words to Strange Fruit and also to turn my willpower over to a god of my own understanding. It’s … Continue reading Dreams of Children by Ralph Dartford
britannia corner and so it came to pass that all roads lead to scunthorpe and brumby and ashby and frodingham and crosby and the five villages chose the choicest name and all the people moved to scunthorpe and it was the hub and centre of all the new good things made from iron ore and … Continue reading Britannia Corner by Rob Walton
BRICK: A LOVE LETTER TO MIDDLESBROUGH My hometown Pulls me down Builds me up Brick by brick Piece by piece Chrysalis Colours fly Orange Pip Butterfly My hometown Pulls me down Builds me up Brick by brick Piece by piece I transform Who am I? Home was a townhouse then. Back in … Continue reading Brick : A Love Poem to Middlesbrough by Scarlet Pink
And finally, the last poem chosen for us this month by guest editor Jessie Joe Jacobs is a fantastically bitter persona poem from Dave Medd. Party Song History. You can keep your bleedin history. It aint mine. Deny all knowledge, lineage, bastards. Who cares who screwed who in bed or battle. Pigs have got it … Continue reading Party Song by David Medd