Saturday Night At The Movies

Saturday Night At The Movies short poem

for John McBride Neill

There was the Savoy and Lyceum,
the Majestic and Colosseum,
the Regal and the Roxy,
the Tonic and the Troxy,
the Princess and the Pallidrome,
the Alhambra and Hippodrome.
Great picture palaces,
art deco and glass,
velvet and brass,
where the poor of Belfast
could feel like stars
for a night.

And the Strand,
sailing up the Holywood Road
like a great ocean liner,
where my grandmother
took a flask of tea and sandwiches
to Gone With The Wind,
and my father watched
Flash Gordon and Roy Rodgers,
and rode an imaginary
Trigger the two miles home.

Now the Lido is a chapel,
the Metro sells fried chicken
the Apollo, a Chinese supermarket,
and the Alpha, a loyalist drinking den.

But the Strand,
where my father
saw Flash kiss Dale,
and my grandmother
saw Rhett kiss Scarlet,
where I kissed a girl badly
in the back row, five minutes
before the film ended,

the Strand
still stands.

This poem is part of the Poetry Book Black Eyed Peace

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david atkinson

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Irish poet, who spent his early years in Belfast and now lives in Coleraine with his wife and 2 children. His first collection "Thomas" was published by Lapwing in 2005, and his second collection "Black Eyed Peace" has just been published. It is available as either a free eBook or in traditional printed format. His work has been widely published in magazines, anthologies, and on-line. His work has also been broadcast and published by the BBC and a number of his poems have achieved competition success. He has been involved with the Ballymoney Writers for over 15 years and has edited and published 3 collections of their work.
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Bill Peeler
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Good stuff.

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