Today is 50 years since the Civil Rights march in Derry the reaction to which is generally thought to have sparked off the NI Troubles I wrote this poem in response to a photo of Belfast 1918, but 1968 and what came afterwards was very much in my mind too.
I was never here before
At least not in these black-and-white
Silent movie days.
I won’t be born for fifty years.
These streets are not silent. Trams clatter
Past blank-blinded brick terraces
These streets are not sepia.
Nor do they run with the blood
Of the thousands who have lately marched
Down them on their way to the Somme,
Though they will in time run red.