Saturday, 15 November 2014
Everyday Gamut OR Business as Usual
Perhaps it is because I am growing old, but I take far less pleasure from living in London than I used to. Even so, my life is here. While I take much pleasure in its wealth of leisure facilities and history as and when I can, I remain acutely aware that I am passively complicit in its going about that side of its everyday business which takes place in shadows.
I suspect we all run a familiar gamut (to one degree or another) in cities and towns across the world.
EVERYDAY GAMUT or BUSINESS AS USUAL
Manic streets, paved with eggshells
(Oh, so politically correct...)
Big Issue drumming up passing glances
(Equal Ops prime suspect.)
Beggar and dog at the supermarket
(On the outside, looking in…)
Tailbacks on the home run, a nightmare
(No respect for Car is King.)
Blind man making his own way home
(Small change for a pickpocket...)
Arthritic bag lady taking up a park bench
(Move along, security alert!)
Hey, I bet that one’s a terrorist, see?
(Looks foreign to me...)
Thin is sexy or so we’re asked to believe
(Gorging on glossy magazines...)
School kid mugged for a smart phone
(Better not to get involved...)
Teenage lovers sharing well-used needles
(What about HIV-AIDS?)
Shoplifters killing off the High Street
(Business as usual...)
Copyright R. N. Taber 2007; 2014
[Note: For overseas readers, who may not know, The Big Issue is a newspaper sold on the streets of the UK by homeless people; it gives them a regular income, and as if not more importantly helps restore their self-confidence and preserve their self-respect; see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Issue.
An earlier version of this poem appears in 1st eds.of Accomplices To Illusion by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2007; revised ed. in e-format in preparation.]