Friday, May 26, 2017

It's like Beirut! Manchester/Beirut positive analogies!

This is the place - Tony Walsh
Poet Tony Walsh, in the aftermath of the drama surrounding the bomb that exploded at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, read this wonderful poem (please click on the image and read it, it is warm, funny, defiant, sincere and very "Mancunian").
Then there was that Oasis "Don't look back in anger" spontaneous singing following the moment of silence vigil there when one woman named Lydia Bernsmeier-Rullow started chanting and the whole crowd sang along following pace. Bernsmeier-Rullow said "We can’t be looking backwards to what happened, we have to look forwards to the future ... We’re all gonna get on with it, because that’s what Manchester does."
Or that man identified as "Ian" who said "They want us to turn on our neighbors and it will never happen". "Some are born here, some are drawn here, but we all call it home" - according to Walsh.
Attacks in European cities are becoming more and more frequent, and more and more visible. We had "pray for Paris" (mind you, one of the attacks happened just a day after an attack in Beirut, but it seems praying for Paris is more hip, or perhaps gets delivered faster to whomever they are praying for), "pray for Brussels" and the list goes on. "We won't take defeat and we don't want your pity" Walsh brilliantly puts it.
Manchester stood there, "tall" (as Walsh put it), justifying the "Keep calm and move on" original poster from the WWII days which is now an internet meme. But it is that attitude, of dusting off, going on business as usual, continuing with whomever is left that struck me.
It's like Beirut, but in a very good way.
Beirut is like that. "Oh there's been a bomb? Better then take the other road to work" - an almost careless attitude to danger, but one which highlights that same passion for life, that same "make us a brew while you're up, love!" as Walsh puts it chiming in.
The Tony Walsh poem is moving in so many ways, and - no, not of comparison, but it does remind me of my own prose-poetry works for the 2006 war in Lebanon, collectively titled "Beirut Mayhem-ek" (Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII), that odd-bonkers way of living a tragedy associated with a city and eventually moving on.
The Guardian said it best, "found words where there are no words", paradoxically, it is also a poem that makes one speechless.
"Choose love" Walsh ends his poem.
Yes, do so, if only to irritate the imbeciles!