New Cross House Fire, 1981 Brixton


Even now the smell

Still hasn’t smouldered away

Or coughed over the memory

Out of the chimney.


Long ago electricity surged

Through locked doors

Before stretching skywards

As flames danced high

Out of the bathroom.


Music pounded out

Flickering in a careless murmur

Before being reduced

To a whisper of

A multiple rumoured murder,


Still cast occasionally

In the press

On a quiet day

Of 13 young lives

Snatched away


Or a tragedy of Justice


Before the riots reduced it

To a ignored prologue


In Brixton


Then Manchester

In 1981


Even now.


(New Cross House Fire was a major house fire in Brixton, London 1981 that led to the Brixton Riots in 1981 which spread throughout the United Kingdom)


Andy N is a 41 year old writer from Manchester, UK. He has published one book of poetry ‘Return to Kemptown’ (2010) viva N Press and a split book with Jeff Dawson ‘A Means to an End’ (2011) also through N Press. He is vocalist in the spoken word music band ‘A Means to an End’ and is currently working on his second full length collection ‘The End of Summer’ which will probably be out in 2014.