Black Country dialect: two poems by the inimitable Mogs


Er’s Gooin’ Saft


I think ‘er’s gooin’ saft, ya know
Thought p’raps one day ‘er might,
Sometimes ‘er ay on this planet
The poor ‘oman just ay right.

‘Er just keeps on misplacin’ things
An I ‘ay one to mek a fuss
But ‘er faculties am fadin’
And I think ‘er’s gettin’ wus.

We woz gooin’ out this mornin’
‘Er sez, “Where’s me cardy gone?”
I watched ‘er search for yonks, then sez
“Yow’ve got the damned thing on!”

Then ‘er cor find ‘er carkays,
‘Er sez, “I just doe understond,
I’ve sid ’em somewhere, sure I ‘ave.”
I sez, “They’m in ya bloody ‘ond!”

‘Er ‘ondbags in the oven,
And ‘er purse tucked up in bed,
Then ‘er glasses, they goo missin’
And I finds ’em on ‘er yead.

By the time we gets to Asda
I cor tek any more.
To cap it all ‘er turns and sez
“What ‘ave we come ’ere for?”

I think ‘er’s gooin’ yampy
Gone saft, it’s plain to see
I s’pose it ay surprisin’ ‘cus
The poor dear’s married to me!


I Cor Fly


I sez, “I’m just a babbee bird.”
I dow’ think me mother heard
As ‘er stared into the distance, a tear in ‘er eye.
‘Er sez, “Son, I’ve done me best
But it’s time yow flew the nest.”
I sez, “I cor do that, ‘coz I cor bloody fly.”

‘Er sez, “Dow gi’ me that crap
Yow’m a fully feathered chap
And ‘ow’m ya gonna know, ’til yow’ve gid it a try?
I’m afraid the time ‘as come.
It’s time yow woz leavin’ ‘um.”
I sez, “Dow’ mek me do it Mum; I cor bloody fly.”

“It’s the easiest of things,”
‘Er sez, “Just stick out ya wings
Then stond there on the branch and leap into the sky.
Goo on, get them wings unfurled
Yow ged off and see the world.”
I sez, “I‘m gooin’ nowhere, ‘coz I cor bloody fly.”

Well to show ‘er mother’s love,
‘Er gid me a bloody shove
Fighting back the tears ‘er sez, “I loves yow son, goodbye.”
As I plummet to the ground
From ‘er branch me mum looks down
And sez, “Well, who’d a thought it? Yow cor bloody fly!”



Mogs has lived in the Black Country all his life. Originally from Halesowen, he now lives in Stourbridge. He was educated at Halesowen C of E and then at Halesowen Grammar School. Armed with 3 ‘O’ Levels he began work at the MEB in 1973 as a Computer Operator. In 1989 he was diagnosed with an eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa and in 2003 was given early retirement. He now spends his days writing and being dragged round shops and National Trust places, and regularly performs at open mic events.

Poems Your Parents Won’t Like by Johnny ‘Mogs’ Morris was published in 2017 by Black Pear Press. You can buy the book online or at these local shops:



Banner image: Zeynel Cebeci


Fifty years on… how the Wolverhampton community remembered Enoch Powell

It’s fifty years since Enoch Powell made his infamous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech. Journalist LYNN BUTLER attended the ‘Rivers of Love’ rally held in the same room at the Burlington Hotel…



“I’d like to think that if Enoch Powell was here today he would stand up and apologise to all and sundry and say ‘I was wrong’.”

– Brendon Baston OBE, former West Bromwich Albion footballer


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“In 1948, the Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury Docks. The promise was of streets paved with gold. The reality, as we know, was very different.”

– Rose Brown, Unison NEC member for the West Midlands


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“Fifty-five years ago there was a black woman walking down the street in Walsall. She was pregnant and she was attacked in the street. She survived and her child survived. That was my mom and that was me.”

– Roger McKenzie, Deputy General Secretary, Unison

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“I wish my dad was alive to see that in the very place those evil words were said, his daughter is joining with others in defiance and as a real and practical legacy of how wrong Enoch Powell was.”

– Salma Yaqoob, head of the Birmingham Stop the War Coalition and spokesperson for Birmingham Central Mosque

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“We will all stand together, united in solidarity.”

– Labour MP Eleanor Smith, Wolverhampton South West (pictured standing)



“We represent all that is good in this country and we represent the majority of people out there who say we are not going to stand for racism. We are going to meet it head on.”

– Brendon Baston OBE, former West Bromwich Albion footballer


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“What we are here for is the future, and what we want to do is make sure Powell belongs in the dustbin of history. He doesn’t represent us.”

– Weyman Bennett, co-convenor of Stand Up To Racism


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“People commit racism because they know they can get away with it. The only way of getting rid of this cancer is by tackling systematic, institutionalised racism. We have to start there.”

– Maxie Hayles, anti-racism activist (seated right)


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“We are all one. It is time for all of us to stand up and be counted.”

– Reverend Doctor Desmond Jaddoo


There are fears racism is on the rise again, with 3,495 incidents reported to West Midlands Police in 2017, compared with 2,328 in 2013, according to Weyman Bennett, Joint National Convenor for the Stand Up to Racism campaign.

Salma Yaqoob, Head of the Birmingham Stop the War Coalition, told the invited audience of around 50 campaigners they represented ‘the best’ of the region and were a legacy of ‘how wrong Enoch Powell was.’

But she warned racism in the West Midlands wasn’t dead, adding: “Whether it’s institutional, cultural or ignorant, it’s still there. But we won’t give up hope and we won’t be complacent.”