Traveling to Work Through the Streets of Manchester by David Hay

There is nothing but violence.
The maelstrom of black rain
Buries the street preacher, with his ink-dried voice and
Words full of pain and burnt-out candles.

A massacre was lodged in the breeze.
I saw homeless men and women
Under the archways and beneath feet;
All was the perfumed emptiness
Of my black coffee morning sigh,
And the causal flick of emotionless change.

Go back to sleep,
Urchin of human conscience,
Covered with the streets’ seasons;
This morning is for the living
And you are the dead.

A car violated the boundaries of silence
And broke the last edge of night;
There was a deepening drumming
As the city rose to dominate the day.
A single pulse was a furnace
And the knife glint of the eye swallowed light.
Here were the voiceless ignored by each decade’s
pitiless song,
Here are their lives,
You can spit on them if you please.

About The Author

David Hay is an English Teacher in the Northwest of England. He has written poetry and prose since the age of 18 when he discovered Virginia Woolf’s The Waves and the poetry of John Keats. He has secured publication in Dreich, Abridged, Acumen, The Honest Ulsterman, The Dawntreader, Versification, The Babel Tower Notice Board, The Stone of Madness Press and others.

reclaim: an anthology of women’s lives

Featuring 18 female-identifying writers, this digital anthology is raising money for Rosa UK, Women’s Aid UK, and WriteGirl, with 100% of all profits going directly to charity.

Cover and interior artwork by Taliha Quadri

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