I came across Moscow Road on the Belfast harbour estate on a wintry March day some years ago, and it felt among the down-at-heel industrial landscape as if the ghosts of the 1930s and 40s still haunted the place – as in some sense they do.
In the cold light of spring it’s a photograph
from Picture Post: factories, gasometers.
Moscow Road is cutting a swathe
through wetlands towards a horizon of cranes
and windsocks, of cargo ships. There’s
been a light drift of snow and the Nissen
huts are sugared with it. Nothing moves,
until a turboprop comes in to land and scares
a single pearl-grey heron from the reed-beds.
It beats past Bauhaus offices, a refugee,
a ghost from the show trials, over our heads:
ration-books, industry, the war years.
Author of four collections of poetry, the most recent, The resurrection of the Body at Killysuggen, published in June 2011 by Belfast’s Lagan Press. He blogs about his latest book on www.killysuggen.wordpress.com.