City of the Bee


Manchester's home to me
Connects me to the past
My grandfather Jack
Set off from here
For four years
Fighting in France
A dearth of romance
whilst in the trenches
but he were wed
on his safe return
despite all his pals
being dead.

Manchester, forever connected, ironically,  to Ariana Grande
And the 22 dead and 59 wounded.
Manchester were never right good at submission.
Ask the 60.000 who gathered at St Peter's Field, Manchester,  
on Monday 16 August 1819 when cavalry charged into a crowd 
who had gathered to demand the reform of parliamentary representation.
The Peterloo massacre were a step on the road to today.
AS was the Hacienda and Old Trafford and Maine Road.

Manchester at the very heart of Covid transmission
People living in crowded and poor conditions
Not welcome in Wales nor the prosperous south.
we take care of ourselves, hardy souls:
Bert Trautmann, the ex-German POW
City goalie who broke his neck & played on
At the 1956 FA Cup final at Wembley
Or Duncan Edwards, the beautiful Busby Babe, 
Brilliantly great footballer who died at 22 
in the Munich air disaster on 21 February 1958.

This is a just a taste of my city of the bee
The first industrial city of the world
Home to Frederick Engels and Ian Curtis
Joy Division, Elizabeth Gaskell, Salford Lads' Club.
The city of the Bee, and me. 








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John Marks

Sat 17th Oct 2020 20:29

Thanks Shifa. You are kind and, I hope, a little warmer now!

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Shifa Maqba

Sat 17th Oct 2020 10:20

A true to life piece, written exceptionally well. Chills, literal chills!

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