Lifeboat- the Great North Passion poem




A Poem for the Great North Passion.

by Kate Fox with input from the Poetry Choir of South Shields Community School

Broadcast on BBC1 on Good Friday 2014


I think I’m kind of kind,

but like most of us I’m somewhere in between,

the serene giving of Mother Theresa

and the bumbling awkwardness of Mr Bean.

Your haircut makes me cringe.

Your phone is so old!


Kindness of Strangers

see Twitter and Galilee

or head to Ocean Road, South Shields

for a day out by the sea!

Fish and chips and curry,

Indian, Chinese and Thai,

anything you want to eat

is here for you to buy.


Made by Minchellas all the way from Italy.

People came from all over the world to live here

and mostly, they get on.

Thirteen flavours of us.

The first ever lifeboat design,

saved a thousand from the Tyne,

was saved in turn by volunteers,

who wiped away the years

until it was bright blue and white

as the prom on a sunny day.

The seagulls pinch your pasty,

nick your chips,

sit on your head,

a clucking army

pecking bits of bread.

Haway, the Fair!

Dodgems, waltzers, a slide,

a rollercoaster, the party bus,

Life is a journey so come with us,

all the way from the Tyne Bridge.

The Great North Run!

Drummers thump heartbeats in time with the runners

photos of loved ones on their backs.

I had no breath, I’d gone puce,

my knees were weak,

my lungs no use but the crowd gave me


Jelly babies!

The will to carry on!

Give someone a lift if they break down

(But what if they’re a psychopath?)

Present a random person with a bunch of flowers

(But what if they just laugh?)

Help an old person when they fall over

(But what if you’re not medically trained?)

Burly blokes on boats is just one kind of brave.

but stick your neck out for others

it’s your own life you will save.

Your hair is lush

Let’s give your car a push

You don’t even need make up.

Do you want a hand with that shopping?

You smell of strawberries.

We will be your lifeboat and come to your rescue

\We will bring it back to YOU

so you can’t forget.

Treat others the way you want to be tret.

Treat others the way you want to be tret