Dust – by RICHARD GREEN
It’s grim up north they say in monotone voices,
stuffed with colourless authenticity.
They say we are all puddings up here and maybe so,
an array of sugar-coated, calorie soaked treats.
We gave them coal to warm their privileged feet in winter,
as they habitually tuned in to Coronation Street.
Still they sneer at our lingo and scowl at our bingo,
act surprised when we accidentally start to achieve.
There is no line scraped in white playground chalk,
except in the heads and bellies of each of us.
There, the line is invisible yet impenetrable.
A sense of identity etched into frozen faces.
I spoke to a man on Dog Hill on August bank holiday,
a veteran of some far off trip to hell perhaps.
Or perhaps a lifetime bent double, digging like a blind mole,
with hardened heart held in his leathery hands.
He told me of how he shouted at the telly now and then,
especially when he watched the ten-o-clock news.
‘Ah dunt know why they dunt spayk bleedin normal’,
‘They orlas spayk darn to such as me an thee the bastards’.
Its great up north they sing in carnivals of voices,
cold, damp and smoggy, ‘just how we like it’ they cry.
A dawn chorus of old men coughing up coal and sleck
brings in a new day, full of colour and of song.
“I wrote this poem as part of a collection in 2003,” says Green. “It’s about the village where I grew up and how it looks different as you move further away from it.” Green is a self-described Yorkshire born wordsmith and poetry mechanic.
Richard Green is a northern wordsmith, living in self induced exile in Plymouth. Richard cites Seamus Heaney and Sean O’Brien has his literary heroes and is fortunate to have been taught by the latter. Richard’s work shameless carries echoes of his northern roots, fused with an eye for the obscure and a love of people watching.
You can follow Richard Green’s blog here: https://yorkshirepoetblog.wordpress.com/#
And follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/yorkshirepoet1