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By Josie Whitehead

Kingston upon Hull - A City on the Sea

Where the River Humber meets the sea 
You’ll find, beside its ancient quay,
      Both fishing boats and fish and chips –
      And so much more to tempt the lips.

This ancient North Sea fishing quay
Dates from the thirteenth century,
     But modern Hull can boast much more
     So come with me and let’s explore.

The Suspension Bridge, of regal grace,
Links the shores within this place,
     Whilst Hull’s proud Minster gazes down
      Upon this busy, bustling town.

Built high on stilts, above the quay,
Is something you are bound to see:
     A shopping centre, in its prime,
     That’s boasting all that’s maritime.

Come to Hull’s ocean-underworld
And there, I promise you, unfurled
      Are creatures of the ocean deep 
      That slither, slide or swim and creep.

*City of Culture? – It was, for sure,
So enter now Hull’s cultural door:
       Good music, literature and art?
       Oh yes, but that is just the start.

They’ve poets old and poets new – 
And those who’re waiting in the queue:
     Those to welcome, those to shun
     And poets who have just begun.

Have you heard of Wilberforce -
William Wilberforce, of course.
     This man from Hull set out and fought
      For human life that had been bought -

For slavery, a shameful crime,
Was prevalent within his time,
      So Wilberforce came to the aid
      Of innocents sold in this trade.

With others he was on a mission
To free all slaves by abolition - - 
    Yet exploitation still survives –
    The curse of many human lives.


It’s time to leave this cultural town;
Its universities, folk of renown;
    Its gardens, harbour with its gulls:
    So, farewell Kingston-upon-Hull.

Copyright on all my poems 

* City of Culture 2017




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