Up North



New EU president,

I think I like you,

with your monthly monastic retreats,

your writing of Flemish Haiku,

your poetic name; Herman Van Roempy,

the man who’s made Tony Blair’s supporters grumpy.

They said Blair’s key credential

was that he is properly…Presidential.

But second time round in the jungle,

there can be more to fear,

and Tony might have spent all his summits

thinking; “I’m a Celebrity,

get me out of here”



Up North


As Leonard Cohen nearly said,

stop mithering,

I was born like this,

I had no choice,

I was born with the gift of a Northern voice,


I know hearing it makes some people groan,

and develop Irritable Vowel Syndrome

but I’d consider it deeply cruel,

if I woke up sounding like Brian Sewell


If you want your message to sound down to earth,

a Northern accent’s the one to use

but I hope one day,

to hear the bongs strike ten,

and a Northerner reading the news.


I met a Daily Telegraph journalist

in Hull once,

it was the furthest North he’d ever been,

he was okay once he’d been issued,

with a passport

and a translating machine.


A Northerner is allowed to host

TV’s Culture Show,

but it’s alright cos she used to be in pop

and just by looking at her you wouldn’t know.


If you escaped to Oxbridge in the fifties or sixties

from a Northern bog or a kitchen sink,

you’ll have left your short “a”s

up a ginnel somewhere

in case they impeded your ability to think.


Though in case anyone disputes

your Northern roots,

they’ll return sometimes

when you’re on the phone

to folks back home.

or you’ve had too much to drink.


Wordsworth came South

and his Cumbrian tones

made people think he was a fool,

so he reflected upon his inward eye,

and sent his nephew to public school.


But I can’t complain,

cos even with my voice,

I’m poeting on the BBC

though a version of this poem

will be written down

and translated into R.P.


November 24, 2009. Uncategorized.

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