a poem after the london riots

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.

©inktuition 2011

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