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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.




◄ Mam

The closing of the day ►


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keith jeffries

Thu 20th Jun 2024 22:25

First I applaud your choice of reference in the words of Charles Bukowski. A great favourite of mine.
Your poem is a vivid description of many urban areas in our towns and cities. Raw emotion, unconcealed poverty and a dearth of spirituality. Desparation lingers in a sultry atmosphere of lethargy. I have seen it all too often in parish work. The human casualties of orchestrated neglect.
You write from an aching heart as we cannot turn our backs on this. I thank you for such a skilfull piece of witing.

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