City of the Bee: 22 May 2017, 9:31 pm
No retreat, No surrender - easy to say, harder to remember,
But we do: in these smoky terraces, which are my home town,
People from across the world
Now share my home:
Huguenots and Flemish weavers remembered in the names of pubs.
The Irish fleeing famine: the O'Donnells and O'Neills on the rub
Ashkenazi Jews escaping the Czarist pogroms: the Cohens and Rabinowitz.
Afro-Carribeans, the Patels from India and Pakistan,
Hindus and Chinese restaurants: Chinatown, the curry mile
People's History Museum:Manchester Jewish Museum
Yoga and temples, meditation and dharma,
The open Gurdwaras
Sikhs who welcome all.
But now we're faced with a black, black wall
The world has brought us
The nuts and bolts of terror:
The slaughter of the innocents
An overwhelming feeling of fear and anxiety.
Manchester remains: a Standard Bearer
Of tolerance and respect
While others seek protection from this miasama - this new black death -
By curtailing liberty, free speech:
There will be no war of each against each..
These smoky terraces have leached away so-many broken hearts:
Hearts broken by the mud of Passchendaele, the sands of the Western Desert
Jihadi - heaven is just a fucking decoy,
A lie bought by the broken bodies of girls and boys,
This blackest lie of the blackest of arts
Has no part in the heart of these smoky terraces.