Ode to Manchester

A poem by Ani Rinchen Khandro, AKA Jackie Glass, a Mancunian

 

The blood of Irish, Catholic immigrants

And Russian, Jewish refugees

Flows through the veins of this Buddhist nun,

A seeker of wisdom, compassion and peace,

 

Whose path has encircled the world and alights

Now in Edinburgh, where it has stayed.

But my heart cries out for Manchester,

For Manchester’s where I was made.

 

And I weep to see your suffering,

Caused by minds deluded by hate,

Yet tears of sadness are mixed with pride,

Seeing what makes my hometown so great.

 

Strength and kindness in adversity,

That brave, indomitable spirit,

Bred by love that welcomes diversity,

All embellished with pithy, street wit.

 

Mancunia, Mancunia!

That fortress of Northern souls,

Your red brick streets and fields of dreams,

Bear witness to impossible goals.

 

In grief we stand united,

United we’ll rise from the ruins,

Like so many who’ve gone before us,

For in Manchester, that’s how we do things.