Moses Came to Merseyside

Moses came to Merseyside
and waved his magic staff.
It was his trademark trick and so
it always got a laugh.

He turned up at New Brighton,
and shouted from the beach:
I’m going to make the Mersey part
- it’s only two quid each!

And Moses spake – at quite some length
though muffled by his beard
and people shuffled, keen to start
- that’s why they’d volunteered.

The kids all took his picture
as he stood there in his robe.
There was someone from council
there was someone from the Globe.

And all of them let out a gasp
when Moses raised his hand -
the waves receded, rolling back
til the river bed was… land.

The habitat was suddenly
more coastal than marine
from Egremont to Pier Head
- a long walk in between

When Moses split the Mersey
he said: Come on let’s go,
but don’t be straggling behind -
you’ve just an hour or so.

On Fort Perch Rock, a crowd of folk
had gathered to observe
the faithful few traverse the gorge
- the ones who had the nerve.

And birds of prey on roof tops
looked down with greedy eyes
as they set out from New Brighton,
without compass or supplies.

The surface was uneven,
a panoramic sight:
old prams and shopping trolleys
and various other shite.

past rusty junk and sunken hulks
they shuffled on, quite stunned
to see the bones of murdered men
and all we’ve jettisoned.

And what was it that drove them
to slog on without stopping?
The Phil, the footie or the Crack?
the shipping or the shopping?

They turned to look at Wirral now
- how very small it seemed,
how very grey and far away -
but how Liverpool gleamed!

And how the Liver Buildings loomed
on cliffs that once were docks
now high above their heads – so far
they could not see the clocks.

And Moses muttered something
his voice an utter blur
- so difficult to comprehend
through so much facial hair.

Some remarked how tired he looked
- his staff now seemed to quiver
and what’s that watery trickling sound?
and: Here comes the river!

And everybody for themselves
legged it to higher ground
they clung to ropes or climbed the walls.
Only a few were drowned.

This side is ace, the rest agreed,
(except the drugs and crime)
if there was a just a way for us
to come here all the time.

And so they built a tunnel
for they knew – without a doubt –
if they did it without Moses
they could get across for nowt.

But we all know that nothing’s free
- even a giant hole.
You can cross the Mersey any time
but the tunnel takes its toll.

So Wirral folk still stranded
on the river’s other side
still talk about the time that
Moses came to Merseyside.

And we all smile wistfully
when we think about how Moses
gets almost everywhere for free
while we pay through our noses.

By Clare Kirwan