The Day the World got Smaller

The first passenger railway journey in the world was between Liverpool and Manchester

Don’t let anyone tell you anything else – Think about that for a minute – How we changed the world – It was a colossal journey as well

I worked with a group of  10 year old kids in Liverpool and wrote a poem about the journey – Have a listen and share

 

http://labo.studiohato.com/metal/beta/prototype/beta_1/?page=mike

Manchester V Liverpool

I always struggle with anything that pitches Mancs against Scousers – So this weekend, i’m feeling particularly uneasy – I love liverpool, it’s one of the greatest cities in the world and it’s just down the road.

I know all the arguments as to why we should hate each other but those are the type of arguments Donald Trump has just won an election with.

My first experiences of liverpool was driving to the ferry when going to Ireland as a kid and there was always something very comforting about the fact that once you came of the motorway at the Rocket Pub, the houses looked like my house – i.e. Red and Council with a knackered ford escort in the front garden.

Then our Chris, first in the family to go to university, went to study there.  So I’d go and see him – he lived in Toxteth – I grew up in Moss Side – they were very similar, so, i always felt at home.  We’d go to the Everyman, The Casablanca and the State, the club where Frankie did the video to Relax.

We’d go and watch live bands there and look at how many brilliant bands came and still come from liverpool and in most cases, we saw them in little clubs and bars –

I made friends there with “REAL” people who had similar upbringings and experiences to mine – i.e. second generation Irish living alongside second generation Afro-Carribean or Asian in Ghettos and we all had one enemy –  Thatcher – It unified us – the hatred of a Conservative government determined to make me, my family and my community feel like shit, to usurp our confidence and to make us feel like useless second generation Immigrants – Please don’t think this immigrant hatred is new, it’s been going on for years especially by the Tories –

and look at the art that was coming out of the city – Bleasedale plays made me feel special and real and alive -Our Chris lived with art student so we were always going to exhibitions and galleries and the passport office was there – which was very important in terms of seeing new worlds

I never had any grief in liverpool for coming from manchester, never started on never picked on and never singled out – wish i could say the same for the other cities I’ve visited over the years.

So, Lets not hate and lets remember what MLK said about hate

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that – Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.

 

Mancpool

I know and I Love these Mersey streets

Cos I’ve raced and chased around here since 1973

From trips to Ireland

8 of crammed into a mark one escort

I’ve played football here and I’ve been through the courts

I lived in the last house on upper parliament street

Just before Smithdown Road

And I dance in the state before Frankie Relaxed

But the Casablanca was my Home

And I danced with Red Stripe to the jukebox late into the night

Never a cross word spoken never a single fight

I’ve bantered over football music film theatre and art

And I’ve drank with striking Dockers seen the passion in their hearts

And I’ve scored in the darkest alleyways of Liverpool 8

Never had a problem there

I was always treated ace

Aigburth Allerton Kensington Penny lane wine bar

Lark Lane Canning street

I’ve slept in Sefton Park

I’ve worked in schools in West Kirkby Anfield and Tuebrook

And through the art of poetry I’ve taught young kids to look

Deep into the soul of these magnificent places

Where the history of this city is carved into the people’s faces

And I travelled to Anfield a few days after Hillsborough

And place a single rose on the pitch and I said a prayer for the children

And the more I see

the more I hear

it’s led me to the conclusion

This city and its people remind me of Mancunians

The industry the Energy & the really good-looking lads

The way we don’t take ourselves too seriously

The way we love a laugh

And the second-generation Irish thing

The Asian Caribbean mix

And the way governments for centuries

Have treated our people like shit

It baffles me, confuses me how any scousers could hate me

When blood runs thicker than the Mersey down the 62 or the A580

See I believe we’re first cousins who secretly admire each other

So let me take you on a trip round our way

Tell me if it’s familiar

In Gorton the Girls they know all the words to songs by Chakka Kahn

 

 

 

 

 

Articulate- Dike Omejé

Before you read this, it might help to read this https://godisamanc.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/acceptance-dike-omeje-1972-2007/

January 13th 2017 is the tenth anniversary of Dike Omejé’s death. I want to celebrate his achievements with friends and family and introduce new readers to his life and his work.

So, a group of his friends are in the process of organising “Articulate -Dike Omejé” A day to celebrate the life of our beatiful friend and amazing poet and performer.

It’s taking place at Contact Theatre on Saturday January 14th between 12 noon and 10pm

We aren’t fully sure what is going to be happening yet, but we do know that we want to Articulate Diké – whatever that means!

We want to do workshops at both his Primary and Secondary schools

We want to talk about his life

Get people to read his poems

Assemble a collection of video, recordings and photos to share

Have a collection of his books on sale

We want to hear the amazing Speakeasy band, a wonderful collective of musicians who Diké performed with regularly (please see a festive performance here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjLXZ1jjil4)  and generally remember him.

If you have any recordings or photos or anecdotes about Dike please send them to me at

mikegarry@hotmail.com

But most importantly, put january 14th in the diary and lets celebrate and Articulate – Dike Omejé

 

Remember Remember The Third of November

Brexit hey!

Ok, the majority voted to leave and as a “remain” voter, I accept that but will it be “Hard” or “Soft”?

What are the terms of our exit?

Who decides?

Theresa, Boris and Nigel want it “hard” but they can’t just decide exit terms without some sort of consultation or vote –  That’s be undemocratic and considering one of their arguments was to win back our Parliamentary Sovereignty, it seems peculiar that they don’t want Parliament involved in negotiations concerning our exit terms.

Thank God Miliband, Clegg and the “rebel” MP’s went to the High Court or the our exit would be crueler, harder and uglier than we could have imagined.

I wrote a poem about it which was aired on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio Manchester (Gods own country) – The text is below but if you want to hear me reading it, follow this link

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04f7zpw

The Maiden of Maidenhead

Remember Remember the third of November

And Parliaments latest plot

For the High Court ruled

MP’s can choose

Whether Brexit would be “Hard” or “Soft”

When the Maiden of Maidenhead’s was so intent

That she would decide and not parliament

“Hard” Brexit would commence during lent of 2017

And that Article 50 would be invoked

Hidden behind a puff of smoke

But MP’s did plot and that plan was choked

There’s never any smoke without fire

So, Holler boys

Holler Boys

Let Division Bells ring

While the Maiden of Maidenhead sings

Appeal

Appeal

Appeal

 

World Mental Health Day 2016

I contemplated Suicide once – For 1 Millionth of a second – then i realised, It’d hurt and not just me – So, I sat down and wrote this

Suicide Song

Cast your shadow across midnight
Stand up to your knees in the tide
Wait till the morning and you’ll disappear – Drown by tears of fright

Illuminated by sunshine
Toasted by the sun
Escape with yourself in a ball of flames – There’s never any need to run

Swallow yourself whole for pudding
Don’t ask for custard or cream
The whole street’s been out looking for you – But only I know where you’ve been

Shoot yourself in the face with a water pistol  – Slash your wrists with an Easter egg
Have the time of your life on a cerebral ride – But never trust your own head

Dive off the Empire State Building – Get chased by a dog in the Park
Ask your dad if he was Jack The Lad – Ask your mam if she was Joan of Arc

Sing to the coppers at the football match – Start on the cock of the school
Never get paid for a full weeks work – Better to be honest than a fool

Turn the T.V on at midnight
Spin it round to face the wall
Bung your ears with cotton wool
You’ll hear the whisper of the bullet as you fall

Men’s Mournings

I’ve written a new bookIMG_8129.jpg

It’s full of poems

It took 50 years to write it

It’s a celebration of life

with a nod to the dead

It’s called Men’s Mournings

I’m launching it tomorrow night at the Manchester Food and Drink Festival Hub in Albert Square from 8

I’ve invited some of my favourite poets down to celebrate with me

Sahra Al-Shamiry – an 18 year old Moss Side girl who is taking the poetry scene by storm

Marvin Cheeseman – the funniest darkest poet I’ve ever met

Toria Garbut hurling vocal javelins from her Yorkshire council house window

And there’s live music as well

I’m launching my book @mfdf16’s Poetry Not Poverty night because they support Streetsmart – the Homeless Charity

if you’ve never heard of them, Check out the brilliant work they do here……..http://streetsmart.org.uk

Copies of Men’s Mourings will be available for sale on the night but if you can’t make it email me mikegarry@hotmail.com – I’ll sign copies and post it out to you

and don’t forget

The nights are drawing in

Christmas round the corner

Get your stocking fillers early

And happy National Poetry day for Thursday

I’m doing the Edinburgh Festival

Mike Scottish poster A3

I’m doing the Edinburgh Festival at the Scottish ARTS Club August 20 – 25 at 12 noon daily

I wouldn’t normally be interested in the hassle of it all but I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse

So, I’ve decided to have fun with two of my closest mates.

I’ve known them both for forty years and have loved the music they create so i set them a task of creating a soundscape to go along with my poem

I’ve decided to use a twenty year old poem and update it a bit – it was featured on BBC Radio 4 in May and Jackie Kay, The Scottish Makar responded to my Men’s Morning by writing a Woman’s Morning – it was Pick of the Week – have a listen here

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07ctvg1

I received the music a week ago – so all in all, i’ve had a week to work on it

I could be stressed by that but I refuse to be because they are my mates and you can’t get stressed when working with your mates, can you? Can YOU?

If your in Edinburgh at all from this saturday – come along – see what we’ve created

The Scottish Arts club is beautiful – We are gonna Manc it up – be good to see you there

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