The lasting legacy of ludicrous riots:
what will that mean for me?
Not the mobs in their looted trainers,
or the YouTube vigilantes;
not the columns condemning violence
or the angry-eyed document’ries.
Maybe the broom-wielding Wombles
or the snaps that name and shame
on the sites that gather info
of demonic faces fearing day?
Perhaps the palettes of mustardy red
that pepper the news of deeds we dread
are denied-down anger that we daren’t reveal.
Let’s project instead on youths who steal.
But my foolproof head is full of hits
from the 80s and beyond,
predicting riots and destruction,
weighting meanings of a song.
The Clash is London Calling,
Bowie’s in an Ashes mood,
and what about the Kaiser Chiefs,
with our Olympic strengths to prove?
The fragile flicker of burnt-out hope
hangs around my nose;
the cremated remains of flutter-down soul
berates the lottery of the breeze.
I’m desperate to phoenix something
from those family-crushing ashes;
take those tick-tacked boardings down
to scratch a life that can be salvaged.
The lives destroyed will loom anew
amid the lack, the need, the want;
but it’s the retail ghost of Reeves
that my Croydon heart will haunt.