The dreadful ease with which a fire starts,
that match-head flick and short, sharp scratch
that brings the sparks like shrapnel shards
and sets the world ablaze.
We choke on smoke, the London sky a failing lung
consumptive with the greed and deeds
of men who run, and men with guns,
and humankind who, hungry, hunt,
and wanting, wreak
but do not speak
a language easy on the tongue.
When rhyme and reason mount the curb
and see their foes, and will not swerve,
and better men who stood to save the things they loved
are knocked instead to early graves
we ask ourselves where parents were –
what bridles checked might otherwise
have reined the rage and spared their lives –
when everything is going up in flames.
Elsewhere, a po-faced banker knots his tie
and strangles like a Tyburn son
in auto-erotic ecstasy; but then he kicks the chair away
and jerks and spasms in the throes
of sex and death and – look, who fucking knows?
But that’s the joy of double-dipping, chaps:
the money breaks, and and then its spenders snap.
And everyone is asking why,
as though some word or magic curse
could tell them how to steer away from worse.
But in the rubble, born and grown by greed
that burns both ways, and fear, and hurt, and need
Dame Trickledown is turning deadly tricks
for stolen gold
and newly-bloodied bricks.
Provoked by this news article.