Liverpool heads for Atlantis

The sea is lodged like shrapnel
in the heart of Liverpool:
ships, docks, voyages,
slap and flap of sails,
stacks and bales of goods.
Stranded now in dry and empty docks
its people crack grim jokes
about the awfulness of life.

As you climb the ridge up from the river
(Heaven here accessible from every
massive pinnacle and tower)
the wind saws at your ears,
salt-blasts your skin,
flings the gulls awry,
their whine and cry
a poignant litany of sea.

When the Reds or Blues have won
men surge through Liverpool
like Hamelin rats,
paperchase of wrappers, toss of bottles
in their wake.
One day they'll swarm like lemmings
into Mersey's flood,
swim to where the salt blood calls them,
out to lost Atlantis.

By Gill McEvoy