By Neil J. Donald

Location: Redmires Court, Salford

Will you swap me your wild flowers for my graffiti and tags?
Or your lowing pastured cattle for the bark of my stray dogs
Trade me your peace & quiet for the drone of my traffic
Your organic and natural, my synthetic and plastic

Give me your fresh air in return for my fumes
And I’ll swap you Morris Dancers for my bangin’ tunes
Trade your District & General for my A&E
Prefer Agricultural College or Polytechnic University?

Give up your green lanes for my gum-scarred streets
Or the sound of your birdsong for my siren’s wail
Have my sink estates not your landed gentry
My Iron Duke not your Plough & Flail

I’ll swap you my skate park for a memorial to the dead
Your Post Office or my Aleef News
My bagel for your brown-bread
Your one-stop-shop for J.S. Sainsbury
Little England in return for racial diversity

I’ll take your depression if you’ll have my stress
My Time Out & What’s On, your Order of Service
W.I. or Band-on-the-Wall
My E.N.O. for your Village Hall

24/7 or quiet isolation
Horse & Hound vs. Sleaze Nation
Urban Chic / Rustic Charm
E.U. subsidies or a car alarm

A 20-mile drive or my black cab ride
Will it be tower block or barn for our teenage suicide?
Is it Gucci & Prada or Barbour and wax?
Want your tenement farmers or my poll-tax

Would you give up your life for one that looks like mine?
Drink a pint of local bitter or sip New World fine wine
Want to trade?
Want to swap?
Want to give it a try?
You’re right,
Neither do I.

Neil J. Donald is Manchester born and bred – Chorlton and Salford – now exiled to Heywood. He says: ‘What defines Manchester is what gives its children strength.’



7 Responses to “Homesick”

  1. November 09, 2009 at 5:17 pm, Sian said:

    Loved this

  2. November 09, 2009 at 5:54 pm, Paul Christopher Donald said:

    Rkid you will be back to the Daffodils in the back pocket or the flares and the flowers with the floppy hats.
    The time they were good and the moments move on, welcome to Weston where we have lots of fun

  3. November 10, 2009 at 8:39 am, mary braithwaite said:

    OK Neil…
    I’d swap my life
    maybe for a day…
    the silver horizon of sea
    for John Lewis
    or the shimmering park
    for an art gallery.
    But as you say..
    the beautiful countryside
    or wild coast
    may not be as good
    as the rushing traffic
    or grey skyscrapers???

  4. November 10, 2009 at 8:46 am, mary braithwaite said:

    sorry my web addresses are
    my art works.
    put my name in search box
    my poems
    put my name in the search box.

  5. November 10, 2009 at 3:12 pm, Olthwaite said:


  6. February 20, 2010 at 7:47 pm, Sarah Ann Rees said:

    It’s a brillant poem, I love it!!!!

  7. September 29, 2010 at 8:49 pm, Carol said:

    We live in Redmires and it suits us well; thank you for writing about it.


Leave a Reply




Via email: