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 “What you must do, with money and the poor, is never let them get too close to one another.” Charles Bukowski.

What’s this area got?
Not a lot of jobs, or prospects, or money
There’s no des-res for burnt out
City execs round here
Nothing for the well-heeled retirees. .
But there is plenty of poverty, and plenty of fear.
Look around, you’ll see:
No antique shoppes, just second hand tat.
No cosy-nooks, just wind-swept litter-strewn parks,
Plenty of pubs, bookies, boarded-up shops, 24/7ers
Multi-cultural tower-blocks, closed churches.
Young girls on the corners in thin dresses
knife fights at night.
Look around this concrete precinct
Where the homeless flop.
Smell the stinking fly-postered underpasses.
Packed with hurrying, stressed out, suspicious, frightened people
Faces, too red or too white to be right,
Faces that show the hard facts of life, around here::
Poor diet, bad sleep, too much beer;.
Kids with pinched faces, trainers bought on the never-never
Underweight or fat, nothing inbetween
With all too brief a childhood.
Teenage mums at the end
Of their tether at eighteen
Too many crammed into pokey flats
A breeding ground for the virus.
No social-distancing here.
And the dole too small
And the flats too damp
Oh! there’s no romance round here
It’s hard staying alive round here
What with the gangs and the muggings and the drugs
Corners are cut
Strokes are pulled.
Oh! we’ve got the lot around here,
The fucking future they call it.




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keith jeffries

Thu 22nd Feb 2024 23:54

Thank you for this poem as it endorses the very reason I had to get out of the UK and rid myself of an intolerable environment. As Uilleam says we have money for foreign military adventures but fail to see our own house in order first. This poem is a litany, a summary of what ails Britain. A country mismanaged by mediocre politicians whose salary for sitting in parlaiment is augmented by second and third jobs. I thought there were at the helm of the nation to represent us and not moonlighting.
Excellent poem and thank you for putting it so eloquently.

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Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh

Wed 21st Feb 2024 22:09

Thanks John.
We've money for bombs and bullets to kill poor folk in faraway places, but not for crumbling NHS maternity units, beds and staff, and our childrens' schools.
Good to see that we "civilised" folk in the UK have our priorities sorted out.

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