Brutal?
Functional?
Indecorous?
Eyesore?
The Most Superficial
Form Of Improvement
‘Cladding’
Makes
Things Worse
Even As It
Renders Homes
‘Better’
Better For Who?
Perhaps For
Those Inside
Trapped
Both Economically
And Architecturally
Despite Grafting Hard
Living and Dying
Yard by Yard
Month On Month
With No Prospect
Of Promotion
Or Redemption
Or Respite
All To Give Away
Almost All Your Pay
On Monthly Rent
Spent On A Tiny Space
That Is
Nevertheless
‘Your Place’
Although
Socially
Of Course
In England
You Must
Just
‘Keep Your Place’
Even Though
Economically
You Will Never Own
Any Place
That Is Really
‘Your Place’
To Keep
Nevertheless
Maybe A ‘Keep’
A Castle
From Which
To Fight
For A
Right To A Life
But Still
You Rely
In Fact
Your Life Depends
Upon The Scruples
Of Your 21st Century
‘Lords’

This is A Candle
This Is A Tower
A Monument
A Flower
For Those Who Died
This is A Candle
This Is A Tower
A Monument
A Flower
For Those Who Died

But Maybe ‘Cladding’
Is Better
In Being
At Least
More Desirable
For Those Outside
Who Daily Ride
The Westway
Wishing They Could
Change Their Route
Maybe Shorten Their Commute
As They Aspire To
A More Central
Postcode.
After All
Towers
Only ‘Tower’
Because Of
The High Price
And Profitability
Of Urban Land
That
On The Face Of It
Is Nought
But Dirt
And Yet
Far Cleaner
Than The Uncleanliness
We All Now
Must Behold
Burned Bodies
Amid The Scandal
Of Social Housing
Sold-Out
To Market Forces

This is A Candle
This Is A Tower
A Monument
A Flower
For Those Who Died
This is A Candle
This Is A Tower
A Monument
A Flower
For Those Who Died

Some Gently
Hilly Land
Once Common
Clean And Free
Became
‘North Kensington’
Which Now Sounds
Promisingly Lucrative
To Developers
Who Rub Their Hands
In Glee
At The Prospect
Of The Next ‘Killing’
The ‘Improvement’
Of
Your ’Manor’
Your Turf
Your Beat
Your Yard
Your Neighbourhood
Now Worth A Mint
Or More
To Insatiable Locusts
Devouring
Our City
At Lightning Speed
While We Look On
Open Mouthed
But Speechless
Powerless
This Un-elected
And Unwelcome
Force
Is Currently
Encouraged
Even Propelled
By An Equally
Un-elected
Unformed
Unwelcome
And Inarticulate
Government
All Champions Of An Ideology
That Forces Councils
-Who Had
A Modern
Righteous
Duty
To Help And Humanely House
All Those
In Poverty And In Need
-To Flog Off
Public Land
Public Assets
And To Hand
All This
Discretely
Into Private Hands
i.e. Big Money
Old Money
And Established Powers
Thus Disabling Society
Disinheriting And Disenfranchising
The Future
Wiping Out
The Very People Who ARE
Our Future
As Big Deals
Are Celebrated
And Justified
According To
An Ideology
That Swears
‘Greed Is Good’
Even As It Kills

This is A Candle
This Is A Tower
A Monument
A Flower
For Those Who Died
This is A Candle
This Is A Tower
A Monument
A Flower
For Those Who Died

Though Big Bucks
Change Hands
Nought Returns
To Those Who
For Generations
Grafted
Lived And Died
To Build The City
Making It
What It So Famously Is
Made It Desirable
Walked Its Streets
Danced Its Tunes
Fought Its Battles
Suffered Its Climate
Breathed Its Smog
Caught Its Buses
And Did Its Dirtiest Jobs
Even Cleaning The City
Inside And Out
Every Dawn
Who Voted
For And Against
Its Mayors
Suffered Its Tragedies
Celebrated Its New Years
Collaborated In Its Carnivals
Always Contributing
Multi-Energy
Multi-Effort
Multi-Creativity
Multi-Spirit
Multi-Faith
Multi-Community
Multi-Hope
Multi-Liveliness
Multi-Culture
To the City’s
Multi-Verse
Making The Most Of
Putting A Brave Face On
A Smiling Face On
Poverty
Even While
Building And Bequeathing
Little More
Than Their Own
Bare Bones
In Return
For A Lifetime Of Effort
Yet They May Still Be
‘Decanted’
Disappeared
Pushed Out Of Sight
And Mind
Even Sent Afar
To Strange Towns
Where They Are
Then Derided
As Some Kind Of ‘Immigrant’

This is A Candle
This Is A Tower
A Monument
A Flower
For Those Who Died
This is A Candle
This Is A Tower
A Monument
A Flower
For Those Who Died

Meanwhile
Urban Property
Once ‘Home’
Once ’Your Place’
Or ‘Mine’
Changes Hands
With Little More
Than A Flick Of A Pen
Or A Click Of A Mouse
Passed On
To Rich Kids
From ‘Good Homes’
Or Foreign Investors
Residing Elsewhere
In Luxury
Or To Big Business
As Zeros Magically Migrate
From One Column
To Another
And As
With Almost
No Effort
At All
The Rich
Grow Exponentially
Richer

This is A Candle
This Is A Tower
A Monument
A Flower
For Those Who Died
This is A Candle
This Is A Tower
A Monument
A Flower
For Those Who Died

There Are 4,000 Towers
Like Grenfell
In The UK Today
And How Many
Are Potentially
Towering Tombstones
Tinderboxes
Death-Trap / Poverty-Traps
And Should Their Tenants
Dutifully Pay
Hard-Won Rent
When They
Can Not Even Sleep
Safe And Sound
But Then
Might A Boycott
Be Too Much
Of A Shocking Affront
To Those Hallowed
Market Forces?
Should We Not
Speak Out Now
Is This Our Turn?
Or Must We Just
Stay Muffled
‘Clad’
Asphyxiating On
The Lies
And Injustice
We Are Forced To Suck In
But What Will Happen
If We Don’t
Breath Out
Or Speak Out?
It Is True That
Many
Too Many
‘The Many’
Spend Lives
In Fear
Working Until
Burned-Out
By Care-less
Capitalism
That Is
Morally
Hollowed Out
Costing Lives
Buying And Selling Lives
Ultimately Stealing Lives
That Are Already
Merely
Begged And Borrowed

This is A Candle
This Is A Tower
A Monument
A Flower
For Those Who Died
This is A Candle
This Is A Tower
A Monument
A Flower
For Those Who Died

Greed
They Swear
Is the Only Creed
An Ideology
That Works
By Exploiting
Even Fundamental Needs
And Profiting
One Way Or Another
From The Lives Of
The Least Powerful
The Least Informed
The Least Wealthy
The Least Vocal
The Least Represented
The Least In-The-Loop
And Yet
Those Are The Same
Who Create Most Profit
Make The Wheels
Go Around
If Only Because
They Are Both
The Most Numerous
And The Most Easy
To Manipulate
If You Already
Have Power
And If You Control
The Media

This is A Candle
This Is A Tower
A Monument
A Flower
For Those Who Died
This is A Candle
This Is A Tower
A Monument
A Flower
For Those Who Died

Looking South
From A 24th
North Kensington Floor
You May Just Be Able
To Make Out
Harrods
Sloane Street
‘One Hyde Park’
Somewhere Down There
In The
Richest Of Lands
A Highly Aestheticised
Fairytale world
Where Such Fires
Do Not Seem
To Happen
And Where
‘Cladding’
Might Also Be Snubbed
As Some Crime
Against Taste
And Authenticity
And Which
Would At Least
Certainly Be Checked
And Evaluated
For Its Lethal Capacities
In A World Where
No Expense
Is Spared
In Order
To Pamper
And Protect
The Privileged

This is A Candle
This Is A Tower
A Monument
A Flower
For Those Who Died
This is A Candle
This Is A Tower
A Monument
A Flower
For Those Who Died

T O W E R  (2nd Draft of a work in progress)