DAY FORTY – Ian McMillan

News From’t Northern Powerouse

Gorron’t train. One o’ them old unz
Squeaked like a bugle. A lot gorron
      (Voices like tinkling dreamcatchers

At Wombwell. An it were that early
Moon were still chunterin’ in’ sky
      One of their coins fell

Abart ar late it wor. They were all
Gunner work pickin and packin.
      To the floor of the train

Zero Hour for them zero hours
Tha could call it if tha were bein
      And rolled, rolled, a moon

Clever. No need for clever round
Here no more. Nubdy sed owt.
      Tumbling from the sky

Silence breeds compliance.
Northern Lean-to. Northern Shed.
      And landing at the feet

Northern Outhouse. Northern shithouse.
Northern rented house. Northern Shared House.
      Of the future

Northern half-demolished house
      Where I have seen the shadows
Of the dispossessed

      Gathering around candles.)


Ian McMillan is a writer, performer and broadcaster. He presents The Verb every Friday night on BBC Radio 3.


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