A Tower in Silence (revised)

A Tower in Silence


High above Mumbai

on Malabar Hill

stands a mist caressed

silent tower

A shrine of mystery

where carrion birds flock to feast

on reverently readied

cadavers of indigent beggars

and former dignitaries

waiting ravening beak and claw,

to soar high with eagles

or become flesh of vultures’ flesh.

A tower of awful silence

stands over London W10

A cemetery of disregarded souls;
the world in miniature.

The poor and poorer

children, fathers, aged mothers

council tenants, undocumented others

collaterals of a theology where

avarice is the key and profit the deity.

The twisted charred remains

of those awaiting salvation

waving despairing sheets

at cyanide smoke windows

before fire flash-brazed them

carbonised flesh of flesh

inseparable from scorched rags

Poundshop plastic kitchenware

cheap carpets, cheese-plants,

beds, bookcases, bibles,

and BrightHouse flat screen televisions


now await sniffing spaniel noses

to be located, enumerated, toe-tagged

removed in zipped-up body bags

Taken down to earth.

Laid in earth.


To turn into earth.

◄ My Pimlico Girl (revised for reprint book)

Tulaigh Ua Thiomain (November 8 1987) (revision for next book) ►


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