LONDON IS EATING ITSELF

LONDON IS EATING ITSELF

London is to wealth what

The jungle is to the orang-utan ;

Its natural habitat,

But it is feeding on its poor,

Who dare not live there anymore.

The cranes swing crazily

Building stepping-stones

Even nearer the stars

While oligarchs look on hungrily

Aboard their super turbo-charged yachts and cars.

The skyline plundered for profit

Daily now it seems

The dark star of the economy

Sucking in resources and people, even Queens.

Now even modest railway arches are upgraded

Out with the old in with the new

Shops and delis, pretentious and expensive

Now ‘prettify’ the view.

In a culture that is unstoppably,

Entrepreneurially driven.

Soon there will be corridors of steel and glass

From Limehouse to Kings Cross;

Miles of safety-deposit boxes in the sky

And nobody to occupy them –

Certainly not the like of you and I.

At night it becomes a wall of black

Punctuated by an occasional square of illumination;

In the boxes nobody is at home

And won’t be for a generation.

Then there are all the iceberg houses

Subterranean monstrosities

That dwarf the pygmy shacks

That sit a-top of them.

And their underground swimming pools,

Tennis courts, and cinemas

As large as  dance halls can be seen

Where London isn’t aiming for the stars

It is becoming a subterranean city

With nothing but an empty shell in between.

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