When Soviet tanks rolled through Walsall
I witnessed a young mother crushed beneath caterpillar tracks;
her baby buggy squashed like a bug on a windscreen.
After, I lounged on a bench moodily, nibbling at a rusk,
with candy floss vapour trails drifting in the blue sky above me,
and thought to myself how peaceful it was.
When Yankee bombs rained down on Harrow, Sheering and Newtownabbey
I gazed out over fields of spiralling soot to see two young lovers,
entwined, beneath the skeletal remains of an umbrella
- their naked, writhing bodies fused in one final, dying embrace
- and above whom swooped a pair of amorous swallows.
And I thought to myself how serene they appeared.
Near them, in the ash, half sunk, the bones of a fat man and little boy lay.
Two friends, shaking hands, saying: How do you do?
When firebombs sleeted down on Debden
I turned my back on the pillars of salt and recalled
a time when a bobby stood on every street corner;
Sergeant Dixon's opening soliloquy, to camera, "Good evening, all";
shiny vending machines that dispensed Cadbury's chocolate bars,
cigarettes, Mickey milkshakes and "loverly" Jubblies.
Then, when bombs fell like winter snow on Peckham,
I drew thick, black velvet curtains on this wonderful world,
wound up my old gramophone, placed a well-worn
Satchmo Louis Armstrong upon the turntable
and settled back to walk a path into a vale of silence.
The times they are changed now.
I see no more trees of green, red roses, skies of blue
and clouds of white. The day is so blessed bright;
the colours of the rainbow seared upon the faces of the people.
I hear babies cry; but I shall not watch them grow.
Nought but a lazy eye remains to disclose where London stood
- what powerful race once dwelt in that annihilated place?
They are gone, all of them gone.
And now I think to myself: Who, from amongst the dead,
shall sing of all the wonders I have seen?
Last edited by Messiah
on Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:20 am, edited 5 times in total.