The blankest of canvasses made out of snow,
The city sleeps soundly; still yet to know,
The beauty that lies waiting for it outside,
The one that I tarnish with my every stride.
The town hall glistens like on a Christmas cake,
With its spires stolen by fluttering flakes,
Wrapped in four layers but I’m still all a quiver,
Yet proud Agricola refuses to shiver.
The Roman General guards his snowy white steps,
Staring from his Town Hall as onwards I trek,
On a mission through the city to take it all in,
Catching the flakes on my tongue and my chin.
Prince Albert stands freezing but he doesn’t care,
His memorial gleaming keeping snow out his hair,
His wife Queen Victoria, must be more than just chilly,
But she remains sitting regally in a white Piccadilly.
No buses or people to soil her scene,
For once the whole city’s immaculately clean,
The pavements are buried, the fountains all frozen,
But still I plough on through the path that I’ve chosen.
Sackville glitters – and sparkles with frost,
Turing sits snowed in, his bench buried, lost,
Where Jack has been busy blowing his breathe,
Coating the apple that caused poor Alan’s death.
I slip and I slide down a deserted King Street,
Crunching the snow that lies under my feet,
Fresh, crispy powder that continues to fall,
Like I’ve stepped into a life-sized snow storm ball.
Neptune bends over, globe coated in white,
Not even Poseidon can turn back their flight,
Wave after wave flutter and blanket the sky,
And still there’s no sign of a passerby.
My next friend is Cobdam – the industrialist,
He’s covered in white where snowflakes have kissed,
The statues are the only ones sharing my treat,
As I crush untarnished snow under my feet.
Market Street’s dormant, a ghost town it’s true,
The city so quiet like judgement day’s due,
The snow even masks last night’s dirt in the gutter,
Everything covered by the snowflakes that flutter.
Deansgate is shrouded in blinding white,
Two foot at least, a most alluring of sights,
Usually people are bustling and surging,
Now covered in unspoilt –snow- that is virgin.
Soon workers’ll walk through this postcard scene,
Ruffling the blanket as their wellies pound clean,
Their footsteps uncaringly melting the snow,
As onto their work the masses wearily go.
They’ll moan and they’ll curse that the bus didn’t run,
The trams stuck in Sale, the trains didn’t come,
The cars need defrosting, their engines are cold,
The council gritters didn’t grit where they’re told.
In the hills it caused chaos, snowing folk in,
But I just see the beauty and never the sin,
Walking alone in our snow covered city,
My Manchester’s never looked so perfectly pretty.
Copyright©2011 by Phil Martin
All rights reserved.