Elle (llieno) wrote,

Mercy for Mercia, or, Writing Silly Poems While I'm Crazy

My head has been in a really strange place today (not literally). I found myself thinking myself a little insignificant and confused, so I went for a walk, had something to eat and went to Cafe Jules to try and sort things out, so I'm not being a crazy to tragic_peculiar when she comes over tonight. I have worked some things out. Like getting out a bit really helps. And that I still have irrational things in my head that won't go away that easily.

But I'll post about that in more detail either tonight or tomorrow depending on how things are. I don't think there's any cause for concern, and I'll be more together soon enough. I need to be. I weep for my degree (actually, I am very close to doing just that).

SO here is something different. I just saw on the BBC News site that they're holding a North-South poetry event at King's Cross this evening. Fair enough, I thought, that sounds like a great idea. I read the two poem excerpts they posted and instantly felt that I was a silly poet who shouldn't waste her time when she clearly isn't good enough. Thankfully, something else distracted me: the fact that in this battle, as usual, the middle was ignored. Now, as a daughter of Nottingham, I am a Midlander myself, although in some regards, especially recently (my accent apparently, too), I've become rather Southern. And to be honest, I feel that Nottingham itself is divided into North and South making the Midland definition a little culturally lost.

But I figured I'd write something to the BBC story in defense anyway. Yes, it's a poem, No, it's not very good, and I did it so quickly you don't even have to pretend it is this time. So here goes...

While North with laughing sighs does point
condem the forlorn temples of the Southern home
and insists that all roads run
away from London

And while South mocks with tempestuous mirth
the monochrome monotony of the percieved wasteland
and claims that all is second-best
in Manchester

As civil war rages on,
hoping for the chopping off of Flamborough and Beachy Heads
and a traffic jam of division
clogs up Watford Gap
who spares a thought for us?

Midlands, can you define that word?
Lands in the middle
Neither there nor here
The South to the North
The North to the South
An afterthought to the poet
writing about Blackpool and Brighton
pier pressure

Midlands, but does that not signify
the centre of all, the focus, the heart
Not a nowhere but the everywhere
The Centre to the North
The Centre to the South
The punctuation of the poem
dreaming about Lichfield and Lincoln

Spare a thought for Stafford, Stamford, Stratford and Sleaford
For the men of Mansfield and the women of Wolverhampton
For where every day is Derby day, and for where Dudley does its duty
And where live the lavishes of Ludlow and the luminescence of Leicester
Grant mercy to Mercia
and forget us not
lest you forget yourselves

...maybe being in messy headspace is better, after all.

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