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
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,
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
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.