Second City

The Hum

The  hum  of  the  train  tracks  

The  whistle  in  the  air

Gentle  wheels  roll  and  hiss

Sounds  of  inner  city  bliss


The  hum  of  ever  flowing  traffic

The  rush  of  lights  and  lines

Bodies  and  engines  roll  and  rattle

Willing  soldiers  in  daily  battle


The  hum  and  hustle  of  the  city  

The  people  zigzag  maze

Rich  pulsating  city  beats

On  the  second  city  streets


The  hum  of  trades  a  thousand

The  bustle  of  Bullring  markets

Rising  birds  sing  lazily

Days  pass  by  so  hazily


The  hum  and  hiss  of  twirling  locks

That  water  pressure  gush

Industry  and  innovation

In  the  centre  of  the  nation


The  hum  and  zip  of  business

Rising  towers  of  silver  blue

Linger  and  glimmer  midair

Shining  ruthless  laissez  faire


The  hum  and  echo  of  factory  streets

Initials  and  names  on  doors

Windows  shine  as  do  the  jewels

Through  the  years  of  craft  and  tools


The  hum  of  learning  on  rooftops

The  view  from  new  Lego  Library

Stand  and  stare  for  hours

Skyline  of  pylons  and  towers


The  hum  of the  city  of Birmingham

Rising  again  to  crescendo

The  city’s  alive,  come  inside

Brimming  with  pleasure  and  pride

- James Cronin

Second City, Second Coming

Blocks  of  grey  and  black  and  grey

Sit  beneath  grey  skies

Towers  of  white  amidst  the  green

The  world  through  a  Brummie’s  eyes.


Disused,  misused  space  to  let

Glimmering  towers  cast  shade

Industrial  devolution

Of  which  our  city  is  made.


Roaming  streets  and  crossing  squares

From  Digbeth  to  St  Paul’s

The  city  throngs  and  thrives

In  its  energetic  sprawls.


And  new  life  breathed  in  recent  months

Into  hearts  and  minds  of  some

Birmingham  the  Midlands  hub

If  you  build  it,  they  will  come.


And  build  again  the  city  will

It  will  rise  not  disappear

A  culture  with  a  legacy

The  place  to  be  is  here.

- James  Cronin

There and back again

There and back again

On the same click clacking train

Dissecting humble territories

A page of national allegories


The mark of every civilisation

A country's heart of industrialisation

Conventions and inventions

Mighty roads and disparate stations


Sheltering people in desperate situations

Passed by suits of higher expectations

Financial, law, governance and retail

Landlords holding out for future resale


The second city is up and coming 

Just waiting for HS2 to be up and running

A couple more gentrified bars and flats

And the London piper will be bringing the rats 


And under the new crumpled canopy

Commercial commuting and cctv 

the train hoppers and the drop shoppers 

The nine to fivers and the pill poppers 


Existing together impossibly 

A social standard of hypocrisy 

Long lasting, contrasting

through the IRA bomb blasting 


This old shoddy modern city

Is begging to be forged by more than privacy

Stretching for open waters and cultural piracy

I will take what is mine from the good and the bad I see 


And I will write it on pages

Edited suitably for the digital ages

Like the lunar men before me, Old Bill and the Blinders

My words are more than nostalgic reminders 


The even streets between south and north

the uneven tow paths through Great Britain's source

Lifeful art painted in colourful greys

Loss and gain all nights and all days.