Harry Gallagher – Progress

Progress
(After Alan Bennett)
.
There’s an economic forum
on the television, mother;
they’re hiving off the library,
using words learned from books.
There’s no money in dry pages
being shared around for nowt,
when that dusty old shell
could be a thriving Wetherspoons.
Where instead of education,
which will never pay its way,
the poorest could be helped
into serving knockdown drinks
to the already knocked down,
who know a good thing
when they see it.

Harry Gallagher’s work has been published widely, including 3 pamphlets currently available.  His debut full collection is due in the autumn from Stairwell Books.  He is co-founder of The Stanza at Newcastle and also runs the North East stanza for the Poetry Society.  He performs live up and down the UK.  www.harrygallagherpoet.wordpress.com

Harry Gallagher – Two Poems

Paris

The world has gotten smaller
and the slaughter, always far away,
is now upon the doorstep.
Young and old alike, strewn
like poppies in a tempest.

And time the thief cannot be re-bought.
La Vie En Rose is far too short.
Je te deteste is easier to say
than je t’adore today.

Mr Panico

In wartime Middlesbrough, as soon as Italy declared war on Britain, the previously loved Ice Cream family, the Panicos, began having their windows put in…

Today’s ice cream may contain
hundreds and thousands,
somewhat sharp on the tongue.
A shard ninety nine special.

As old Mr Panico combed
the remains of his windows
out of his scalp, the cares
of the world came to rest

on the shoulders of a sudden
accidental outsider as a town
full of mongrels, turned
on the little man who had made

their own children’s lives
that wee bit sweeter.

 

Harry Gallagher has been widely published and his third pamphlet, ‘Chasing The Sunset’ (Black Light Engine Room Press), is out now. He also co-runs The Stanza, a monthly poetry night just outside of Newcastle.  More info at www.harrygallagherpoet.wordpress.com

Harry Gallagher – Northern Powerhouse

Northern Powerhouse

Jackie Milburn picks up dog ends
on the high level bridge, beneath
the all-seeing stare of Stephenson.

Joseph Swan drinks Carlsberg Export,
huddled on a pavement mattress
outside the Holy Jesus Hospital.

Bobby Charlton smokes his last
in bed, red all over his face;
no consolation goal, no-one to see.

While darling Grace saves tins
for the food bank at Sainsbury’s,
manna for wayfarers in distress.

The next great inventor of steam traction
has now given up on any further action
and works in a Sky call centre.

Harry Gallagher – Survivor

Survivor

It’s always a fine line,
come the reckoning time
for the slow and weak to be picked off the herd;
while we, still in the race
to stay out of bottom place,
can kid ourselves they got what they deserved.

They were finally caught out
for all that loafing about
while we in the warm will trample each other.
Because I’m alright Jack,
I’ve got my own back;
and I’m just fast enough to use you for cover.

I’m safe in the middle,
but they’re on the fiddle,
while that poor chap couldn’t have been keener.
I’ll be sad to see him gone,
but he was never very strong;
you see, my friends and I, we voted Hyena.

Harry Gallagher co-founded and co-runs The Stanza, a monthly poetry night in Newcastle. He gigs regularly across the North and his poetry has been published widely. In 2014 he co-authored “Dark Matter 3” (Black Light Engine Room Press) and his pamphlet, “How It Is: Snapshots From A Northern Town” (Heddon Quarry) is released in June 2015.