Tall As Tower Blocks

These streets tell a story,

Cracked cement writes lifetimes

Of feet pressed with urgency

Hell bent on bloody murder.


These streets tell stories

Of the old and their successors:

Idle boys stalk corners for

Milk money and power.


These streets resound

Where charity stops.

Cheap housing, slums

Slick as rice fields in squares

Like battery farm hens.


These streets tremble together

Residents sit raged, nicotine aged.

Cul-de-sacs of boys at war with

Window glass weapons.


These streets passed sympathy,

Brats with babies scream for

Justice, all benevolence on benefits

In credit card cardigans.


These streets still write

The lives in teenage eyes.

Dingy flats with borrowed

Seats, bought with borrowed money

As seen on a borrowed TV.


These streets cry at night,

As cats pick fights in dust bins.

Those boys now grown, stalk

Corners for a life of their own.


These streets beat into the city,

Bus drives drunks and their wives,

On the edge of supermarket sweep

Where a thousand check outs beep.


These streets are sunk

In trenches of McDonald’s takeaway

Stunk out by Tesco bags of

Superdrug waste.


These streets sit sombre

As Reeboks slip, stomp into

Militant black boots and

March with programmed hearts.


These streets bid farewell

To those boys who chose

Machine guns over checkouts

To save us from the ‘unknown’.


These streets scream in pain

Another stilled funeral parade

Glides past the empty places

Where sons stalked corners.


These streets ain’t pretty,

Ain’t happy,

Ain’t even bothered.

These kids will stand tall as tower blocks

And fall back into place.


I originally wrote this for the Oasis Academy evening in Millbrook but I hadn’t finished it in time and luckily there was absolutely no one there anyway. So, I took it away and worked on it a bit more. Last night I set myself the challenge of finishing at least a rough draft good enough to read over the mic at Archimedes Screw.

Today I perfected it.


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