Half Tide Landin' is a poem steeped in the love of a place, without sentimentality. It interrogates the myths that can occasionally obscure the truth about where we come from.
Author's introduction: Half Tide Landin' is about the time my Dad was taken down to the docks by his father, to be shown the slave shackles, and told not to believe the myth that slaves never landed in Liverpool.
Half Tide Landin'
by Vincent Morgan
Put yer back to Scottie Road,
move past the League of Welldoers,
where leather meets the bony jaws
of scrawny lads and bigger beasts,
and walk down to the Half Tide Landin'.
The docks and their brownstone palaces
built on slaves; their blood and fears.
Every brick mortared with distress and lime and
don't you believe they never landed.
Walk down to the Half Tide Landin'.
Chains and shackles hang there still;
repellent and rusted, mute but screaming.
Hammered into walls by our nanas' great grandads for rich men
who owned the iron, the stone, the flesh.
Walk down to Half Tide Landin'.
Vincent Morgan is from Liverpool, and now lives and writes in Yorkshire.
Cover image by Sam Bruton via Unsplash