North and South

Labi Siffre
Something inside so strong

Labi Siffre “Something inside so strong”

This has not been a couple of good weeks for our country with the appalling attack on Westminster and the divisive Article 50. On Facebook I see friends argue and insults flying between people who should be working together. This week I wanted to write something that reminds us all we are not perfect and yet we have more in common than divides us. At the same time I draw huge comfort from listening to “Something inside so strong” by Labbi Siffre. It is a song that gives hope and is as beautiful as any poem I have ever read.

Labi has a blog at it is well worth a visit. He remains as clear and incisive as ever.

If you would like to hear me reading the poem click here

North and South


We all have that mental list of hurts and grievances

The memories of the bullies bitter words and fists

Lover’s parting accusations and cruel put downs

Scar tissue whose details are undiminished by time


We are a nation of differences North and South

We are a complex of languages East and West

We are Sunni and Shia, Protestant and Catholic

We are roasted vegetables and grilled steak


We all have a mental list of our mistakes and regrets

When we accused the innocent and ignored the guilty

The incautious remark and the insult we do not remember

But sits like a stone wedged in the heart of others  


We are a nation of similarities Laughter and Smiles

We are a complex of shared experiences

We are a stranger’s smile on a sunny afternoon

We are Curry and Chips, Sunrise and Sunset


We all have a mental list of what make us stronger

When we stood up to those who point the finger

When we championed the blameless against the accuser

When we held hands and not grudges


We are a world of divisions that need healing

We are British and Europeans, Women and Men

We are Scottish and Irish, English and Welsh

We are stronger United and Weaker divided


©Jeff Price March 2017


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