A poem for the day – Moscow Road

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.

Moscow Road

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.


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