STAR POems: Finding Home

A trolley bus clatters on sparking wires,

the bowling alley echoes through thick smog,

cathedral with no roof but bell and spire,

school dinners all year round, Noggin the Nog.

A concrete slab, a prefab, faceless, stale,

guts ripped out by bombs in nineteen-forty,

the park built over unexploded shell –

a city with no soul called Coventry.


Now Portsmouth, Island City, is my home

with high-rise blocks and cars and traffic jams;

weathered, scarred, her face not always pretty,

despite the council’s transformation plans.

But Pompey is a city full of charm

and I feel safe wrapped up in her coastline arms.


Liz Neal, November 2018.