The Entry of Christ into Liverpool

City morning. dandelionseeds     blowing from wasteground.

smell of overgrown privethedges. children's voices

in the distance. sounds from the river.

round the corner into Myrtle St. Saturdaymorning shoppers

headscarves. shoppingbaskets. dogs.

 

then

down the hill

 

THE SOUND OF TRUMPETS

cheering and shouting in the distance

children running

icecream vans

flags breaking out over buildings

black and red green and yellow

Union Jacks      Red Ensigns

LONG LIVE SOCIALISM

stretched against the blue sky

over St George's hall

 

Now the procession

 

THE MARCHING DRUMS

 

hideous masked Breughel faces of old ladies in the crowd

yellow masks of girls in curlers and headscarves

smelling of factories

Masks     Masks     Masks

red masks     purple masks     pink masks

 

crushing surging carrying me along

down the hill past the Philharmonic The Labour Exchange

excited feet crushing the geraniums in St Luke's Gardens

placards      banners      posters

Keep Britain White

End the War in Vietnam

God Bless Our Pope

 

Billboards hoardings drawings on pavements

words painted on the road

STOP GO HALT

the sounds of pipes and drums down the street

little girls in yellow and orange dresses paper flowers

embroidered banners

Loyal Sons of King William Lodge, Bootle

Masks more Masks crowding in off buses

standing on walls climbing fences

familiar faces among the crowd

faces of my friends the shades of Pierre Bonnard and

Guillaume Apollinaire

Jarry cycling carefully through the crowd. A black cat

picking her way underfoot

posters

signs

gleaming salads

COLMAN'S MUSTARD

J. Ensor, Fabriqueur de Masques

HAIL JESUS, KING OF THE JEWS

straining forward to catch a glimpse through the crowd,

red hair      white robe g     rey donkey

familiar face

trafficlights zebracrossings

GUIN

GUINN

GUINNESS IS

white bird dying unnoticed in a corner s

plattered feathers

blood running merged with the neonsigns

in a puddle

GUINNESS      IS     GOOD

GUINNESS     IS     GOOD     FOR

Masks     Masks     Masks     Masks     Masks

GUINNESS IS GOOD FOR YOU

brassbands cheering loudspeakers blaring

clatter of police horses

ALL POWER TO THE CONSTITUENT

ASSEMBLY

masks cheering glittering teeth

daffodils trodden underfoot

BUTCHERS OF JERUSALEM

banners cheering drunks stumbling and singing

masks

masks

masks

evening

thin sickle moon

pale blue sky

flecked with bright orange clouds

streamers newspapers discarded paper hats

blown slowly back up the hill by the evening wind dustmen with big brooms sweeping the gutters

last of the crowds waiting at bus-stops

giggling schoolgirls quiet businessmen

me

walking home

empty chip-papers drifting round my feet.


from Collected Poems: 1967-1985 (Alison & Busby, 1986), copyright © Adrian Henri, by permission of Rogers, Coleridge & White Ltd, 20 Powis Mews, London. Recorded in Liverpool, 5 October 1982, used by permission of the British Library Sound Archive.

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