To love the crumbling majesty
Of warehouses and factories,
The empty shells of industry
In silhouette against the sky,
It takes a certain kind of eye
Conceived in the vicinity.
To think a rugged beauty lies
Within the worst place to reside,
Washed up surely as the tide
Requires a very special mind,
Perhaps of Viking heritage,
Perhaps descendant of a fish.
Possessed of self-effacing charm,
Broadsheet readers be alarmed,
Expletives can slip out sometimes
From certain members of the tribe,
Especially when their camp’s decried
Slandered, laughed at, vilified.
It’s not that we don’t know for why
Such insults might be justified.
It’s not that we don’t loathe the crime
Or note the lack of civic pride,
So put the snide remarks on ice
Those demons must be exorcised.
For on the Humber’s silty sides
The sun can turn a reddened eye,
And in that mottled light provide
A view of docks and estuary,
A painter just might kill to see,
A landscape for posterity.
Hold off with your obituary,
If it’s not quite your place to be,
Then here’s a boat and there’s the sea.
Hellhole? No hope? Ambition free?
I’m sorry but I can’t agree
It’s where I’m from. It’s Great. Grimsby.
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