Kit Wright

1944 / Kent / UK

Lament for Stinie Morrison

These are the canyons of Ukraine
from which he came
to take the name,
to take the name
of Stinie.

These are the sharp and hungry streets
of black Whitechapel, that pulled as tight
as fiddle-strings round the lying throat
of Stinie.

This is the Yiddish theatre played
by flickering candles, penny gaffs
with songs and poems and fiddle tunes
for Stinie.


These are the spielers and shebeens,
the bouncing brothels, the gambling holes
with rat and cockroach working a living
inside them just
like Stinie.

This is the man they smashed to death
on Clapham Common, his ankles crossed,
with fiddle-holes cut in his shrouded face,
and smack in the frame
was Stinie.

This is the fence and this the gold,
the jemmy, the knife, the Browning gun,
and this is Whitechapel and it's done
for Stinie.
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