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ManchesterTunnels

Under the city, half a mile down,
Legend has it there’s a forgotten town,
Way below where we eat, work and sleep,
Is a secret world way down in the deep.

Cellar dwellers back in Victorian times,
Sheltered down low from the wintry climes,
They had shops down there in this subterranean space,
Everything they needed in this deep down place.

In the nineteen thirties, they had it quite cool,
With an underground heated swimming pool,
It’s still there today as historians showed,
Underneath the BBC on Oxford Road.

Then into the wartime as somewhere to hide,
When the Germans came bombing from every side,
There are secret tunnels, in fact quite a maze,
Where people hid for hours and days.

But when wartime was over and we’d stopped the attack,
What if some of those hiding didn’t come back,
Scared of being killed by bombs in their sleep,
Maybe they tunnelled further down into the deep.

This secret band made the tunnels a home,
To hide from the world, and grow up alone,
Wearing clothes from the forties, in suits and in hats,
They ate what they could mainly spiders and rats.

They had children down there that had never seen day,
Who’d never known life any other way,
They made homes and beds from what the Victorians gave,
And used the underground pool to wash and to bathe.

Generations later and their memories would fade,
They forgot quite what they were trying to evade,
Eventually the world in their heads had expired,
With a feeling of danger, they slowly rewired.

Decades went by and they adapted their sight,
To see in the dark as their world was in night,
They scuttle and scurry and all have a hump,
From crouching over they’ve developed this lump,

Their language has changed too, they whistle and click,
Their hair is all matted; their beards long and thick,
They became less and less human as their elders did die,
And they threw off their clothes as the years went by.

Their skin is affected by the dark where they dwell,
Deathly white, skinny, they all look unwell,
With yellowy eyes sensitive to the light,
And rotting teeth falling out when they bite.

They have no idea that there once was a war,
But still stick to the pact that they long ago swore,
To stay hidden from view and just carry on,
Burying deeper and deeper ‘til danger has gone.

To never go back just in case it ain’t safe,
There’s bad things up there, it’s part of their faith,
So they make sure they’re hidden as they live out their days,
Buried under the real world and set in their ways.

There’s hundreds there now, they bred and they bred,
I guess there ain’t much to busy their head,
A sub-human race living a quite different way,
Miles down from where we work, rest and play.

But one day one of ‘em will go against the grain,
So if you ever see eyes looking up from the drain,
You’ll know one was swayed by his curiosity,
And came back up the tunnels to find out and to see.

Copyright©2011 by Phil Martin

All rights reserved.

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