Friday 11 February 2022


The town of Runcorn is situated on the River Mersey across from Widnes. I was born in Runcorn, next to the Manchester Ship Canal which is separated from the Mersey by a wall. There have been a number of bridges built between the two towns, the oldest being the Railway Bridge. This poem is about being dragged across the Railway Bridge as a child.

she dragged me snivelling across the Old Bridge

my hand in hers my head not in her reality

for my Mother the wooden walkway was solid

immutable older then her 42 years

I only perceived the spaces between the boards

each held a view of the Mersey far below

and I expected to fall through every gap

somersault the thin air and be lost in the tidal race

cold swift and patient as I knew it to be

this was not to be the last time we walked to Runcorn

Thanks to the Secret Poets for their invaluable assistance. 

Here is a redraft, again with the Secrets help. You can read the first version here.


Witches want your empty eggshells

so they can sail to sea

and summon storms to drown the sailors.

This is a fact. I know.

I was born beside the water

in the shadow of the old Transporter Bridge.

My uncles worked the Ship Canal

tugmen, exempt from The Call Up

free to drink each St Monday dry.

My mother was at war with them

the hostilities endless.

I could never fathom the reason

and she was not the kind you’d ask

even when I was grown and she frail

with aching hands of knotted oak.

Besides by then we lived across the river.

A word to the wise though -

always break your eggshells.

The layout has changed, as have a couple of words.I suspect this is possibly the finished article.

Here's some Soca from Black Stalin.

Until next time.

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