Monday, 7 July 2008

Human resources

I started writing the following poem early in the term, around Easter, but recently rediscovered it and rewrote it. I hope it makes you think.

Houses fester on hills and along lines
(And swarm)
Like rats gnawing among waste.

They don't fester
As they are static giants
And people, yes, people, fester in them.
(Much less resourceful than rats.)

Houses have circulation,
Dwindling with aches and boxes and shouts
(Bloodlines today continue to clot and narrow).
Bright windows watch dumping-grounds
And the heaving-out of food mountains,
But vainly flush out interiors
With spoiled light.

Men rot away all sorts of cumbersome things
That go to litter another place
(It is no trouble for them),
Asking Is there no answer here?
As if in reply, blustering light and sky
Would carve its own face.

The battle is braved
Ever and again, with unsteady dreams
And thoughts with faces, clamouring.
Houses are repainted,
Trained not to creak or whisper or fuss about the pressure
- Get boarded up, eventually,
Senile and wretched.
Before long, guilty regret settles
as we consider the treatment of elders.

In summation:
Drained streams
and frightened homes
and ceaseless nights,
need vying with greed.
Dark and damp and homeless we
Put up shacks and feed.

© 2008 Richard Townrow

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