BRUCE ACKERLEY SIX POEMS
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And just who did flip the switch
On mythical heat?
Me, little more than a nipper,
Heading south; heading west
On an August quest for Devon's
A fraught trip. Childish complaints
Stopped, amazed with the trick of cities.
Birmingham rostered her blocks,
Rack upon rack of turrets and towers,
No less than a midlands manhattan.
And from my father, a gale of laughter,
That I should wish to reside
High, in those burnished rafters.
A country boy you see. Feet more
Used to the fresh stink of fields
Than concrete's fallow ring.
The urban pot-pourri met with measure,
Two-parts fear, to one-part pity.
The irony being, that manhood
Finds me pointing the self-same fingers.
Even now, as I plough my doubted trade
In this spiteful town.
No amount of council spin,
Well meant wizardry,
Can paint a fresh face
On a generation's misery.
I am one more, who bolts the door,
When some grey-veined junkie,
Spills his bowels on the 14th floor.
And still - who cares?
There are other hands at work now,
Creeping with the vengeance of Set.
Other lips; the sallow kiss
Of cheeks beneath bare bulbs,
Other steps storming lifts,
Violence poised at every pivot.
It is the last act -
This black roar of bees.
One billion wings,
Flaming high-rise innards
With petroleum stings.
The sixties have run to liquid.
England stoops - let her drink
From a different dream.