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To Liverpool

by John Stocks

‘Lennon or McCartney?’ you said
As we eased towards the glassine city
Of Manchester, my eighties muse.
With alto stratus adroitly passed,
The tall cranes bowed in prayer
To gods of greater regeneration,
The future rising layer by layer.

‘A symbiotic both’ I said
In a harmony of lightness and flight.
And do you remember Lime Street
With the gin palaces of frosted glass
Before they ripped out its heart?
The lunchtime sessions in the Philly
Or the Scousers who chased us hard
On that wild night in Stanley Park?

Or that time when standing on the kop
You were swept away by a human flood,
Pinballed right down to the front?
Or the black girl in the long white boots
Toxteth, that Monday afternoon
We sheltered from a Baltic blast.
You fell in love, it didn’t last.

‘Lennon OR McCartney?’ you said.

Copyright © 2008 by John Stocks

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