Thursday, 29 March 2018

rack and rue in


  in ruins
  in ruins
the rape of the valley

my valley that cut my knees 
bleeding as black as the slag tips
that tripped my feet 
and tricked my mind
my wide-eyed playground
of touch stones

the soot encrusted bricks
that tattooed the gap-toothed buildings 
roofless and ruthlessly crippled
with an open armed silent welcome
a wagon train circle around
the children who saw only ruins
not ghosts

no anguished tears soaked into
the ruins 
no camaraderie of the exploited
the manhood of grime halted mid term

the children
saw the
topple down walls crash
and splash into our river of laughter
our cake tray of bricks
the brail of the hardened cinders
the satanic black of the slag frozen now

we walked the cobbled roads
into the ruins
cobbles that still would not tolerate
a single weed
to infiltrate the years laid thick
upon the clog ringing ways
that we flew over oblivious
and frivolous in a spin

in our dare-devil pull it down
fun we saw only fun
had no inkling of the rich burghers 
who’s names named our terraced streets
and statues lorded it over their beneficent parks 
or the cascade of manacled managers
and subservient men
who lived and died for their brass

that was our class and we knew it not
ragamuffin boys and torn gingham girls 
we had tight horizons
tall ruined walls to call our own
that were our sin and secret
our pushing of the boundaries down
until the rebellion of adolescence met its match
and we conformed in ruin to our ruin

our houses were built from the ruin of slag
on the ruin of slag
and bucolic was but just a plague
amongst the stunted grass as
we bowed low under the weight
of our prospects in our tallow

the ruins are visited 
down through the generations
and when play turned sour
ruin came home to play with
the tarot cards that were stacked
and dealt the death card that was 
always the ruined slag
and our hands were callused
as our minds were callous

then we saw our children laugh
and scream in delight at the ruins
at the blight of sulphur and red ash
the ruins 
                  the ruins
were our ruin
out there we knew 
were other ruins
but these were our

our ruins
                ours to rack
                                       and rue in

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