The Magical World Of The Strands, by Mark Harrison (@MHristo) of Kent (and a member of the Kent & Sussex Poetry Society) was awarded joint Fourth Place in our 2021 Open Poetry Competition by the judge Rishi Dastidar.
This is what Rishi had to say about Mark’s poem:
Mark Harrison’s ‘The Magical World Of The Strands’, in five delicate stanzas takes us on a musician’s journey through Liverpool and its past, and their struggles to write and record a new album, while trying to pay sufficient and lasting homage to their heroes: “Arthur Lee and Nick Drake / Take turns to whisper in his dreams.” The hazy air is shattered by the final two lines, which I found devastating – not least because the story is a true one, and some of you will recognise the musician who inspired the poem.
The Magical World Of The Strands On the corner of Clarence and Mount Pleasant From up here in the studio, you can see the whole city Beyond the river, New Brighton Sands and Port Sunlight Toxteth and The Dingle looking south Docking ships churn up the water Pull out again into the bay Towards the New World All those names and faces Two years to write and record Nights turn into mornings Blue and white collar everyday people Walk past the Georgian windows Bucolic strumming and brutal codas Laughing, drinking and the needle’s damage done Arthur Lee and Nick Drake Take turns to whisper in his dreams My last gig before plugs were pulled In his city, on the New Strand in Bootle. How’s Mick doing now, is he safe up there Or has the furniture been sold again?