Tuesday, 29 July 2014

High-Rise Skies

I never truly saw the greatness of skies,
Until looking out from a London high-rise.

Watching mountains and rivers of clouds' formation,
Become tigers and doves with day's transformation.

Skyline silhouettes - Steeples, cranes, tower blocks,
As cliff-edge and castle and stoic mountain rocks.

Overhead, mighty seas thunderously crashing,
Huge eagle through orange mountain fiercely dashing.

The great palette ever-changing its spectrum of wonder,
While city of visions rolls busily under.

Pretty Words in Wilderness

Pretty words in wilderness
Would it pay to know just how little we know?

When children's eyes are battered
By raw flights of fireball fancy.

When quiet famine chips edges of china
Laid with olives, falaffel, rocket, houmous, finest cheeses and meats.

When democratising is dictated.

When the war wages - from our wages.

When we're booming

To the bust

When faces of Gaza reflect in our selfies.

And fracking, lining pockets - radiating, contaminating.

When new builds' innovation - one entry for rich and one for poor.
When we're talking to phones and texting people.
When our children learn only English writers in the name of progress

When banks trade in credit, make transactions in food.

While clutching fingers turn to bottle, or smokes, or pills, or skirt,
To fill that existential void -
In dark bars for that crack of light.
Where anything can be sold and nothing really bought.
Would it pay to know just how little we know?

No time for metaphor
Or pretty words

In wilderness

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

In The Shadows Of Silent Stadiums

Magnetic lights of great whirring stadiums' machinery,
Clicking, glowing, fading,
Switching off -
Like crowds, surging and dispersing.

Roaring red sun setting, rolling twilight -
Summer's night-skies, for weeks,
Illumined by blaze of magnetism,
Soar of spirits.
Dwindling into darkness,
Spotlight of world's eye -
Blinded by triumphs and disappointments,
Switching off -
Like crowds, surging and dispersing.

Yet still very much alive,
Through each passage of this mythical land.
From sweeping beaches to mystical mountains,
Vibrant colours, free as Igazu's waters.
Landscape of great gateways -
Mighty rivers, rich rainforest of Amazon.
Sparkling energy of Pantanal - rare species fleeing, forming, flying.
Vivid leaves of Tijuca
Past's sillouhettes laced gold, diamonds, precious gems of Minas Gerais.
And Christ the Redeemer watchful over Rio.
Switching off -
Like crowds, surging and dispersing.

Twelve mighty stadiums cast £2 billion shadows over favelas,

Namesake of their scrub plants.
Who absorbed magnetic lights.
Who busy and bustling sprawl.
Who, rich in history, teeter on hillside.
Who are subject of theorising
Of post-modern, new urbanism -
Who know its robust, communal, sustainable self-reliance.
Who are the very fabric of promised 'Smart cities' of civic assets.
Who gaze, thwarted
As the golden hand of investment diverts last-minute

And delves once more in wealthy expansion.
For glory is in grandeur and seldom to its people.
Who squat in darkened buildings
In Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Fortaleza, Copacabana
Who on street corners
Crowding, offering, bargaining
'50 reias'
The rabble, the rubble, the rouse.
The idle threat of police -
Driving on by.
Disappearing, reappearing.
Room by the hour,
Cheap rates for your dates,
No need for ID,
Just handed the key.
And scarring, bruising, bleeding.
In thousands and hundreds of thousands.
Switching off -
Like crowds, surging and dispersing.

Back at home, in the block.
Upstairs -
Wide, haunting eyes,
On gaunt faces
Who feel no pain for now.
As edges blur
And nights whir
And voices slur
It blots away.

Downstairs -
The guys
Making deals,
Staking deals,
Striking deals,
Handling deals,
Keeping deals,
No swerving deals.
Switching off -
Like crowds surging and dispersing

At the core of the sprawl,
Paraphernalia of factory of necessity.
And diagnoses of TB and HIV,
Dark damp of hot hit.
Children dancing in the rain,
Of free-flowing sewage-streets,
Cooling and soothing.
Tourist boards boasting spectacular views from up here -
Of prosperity so near.
Whimsical words of gentrifying glamour,
Hop on-board the tour
Of residents' reticence of retro-fit.
Like well-documented brief trips
Of big names,
On touring visits before the games.
Attempts to pacify
Much like the military
With their programmes and promises and guns on each side striking.
Some call it liberating,
Others disenfranchising.
We're yet to see,
Tense events transpiring.
The world's attention
Switching off -
Like crowds, surging and dispersing.

And across vast mountains
From Pico das Algulhas Negras,

Through Pedro da Mina,
Along Pico Alto
To Sugar Loaf -
The whisper of sons of this mighty land
Augusto Boal and Paulo Freire echo
'Conscientizacao' -
Through the peaks
Of a leading growth world economy.
As magnetic lights of great whirring stadiums' machinery
Clicking, glowing, fading,
Switching off -
And crowds, surging and dispersing.