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Poetry: History

 

Adolescent city, lolling on a buttered beach;
clean, lean and languid city;  city of fantasy
and adolescent dreams:  dreams of power,
dreams of quick success, dreams of status,
and of adolescent women, shiny as glass,
glossy as the shining pages in
the glossy magasines that celebrate
the fantasy, the dreaming mirrors of
the adolescent city.

                         Not for us,
the bellows groan, the belch of soot,
the shriek of active factories:   no.
Not for us the stockyard stench, the rudeness
of the marketplace, stale labour.
                                  No poet
will here crow the calloused will,
the blind determination of ruthless men,
the poverty and greed that roll together
in hunger and hatred:             no.
We do not dream of machinery, of boxcars
full of manufacture, of hands, black with oil,
full of tools.  We do not burst with needs
to give and take, nor turn our eyes to vastness,
to conquer and make yield:        no.

We stretch out, not our efforts, but ourselves,
in sleepy sunlight, on buttered beaches,
and dream ourselves in possession of what
others create.    We wait here for
the glossy women, the shiney symbols, rolling in
with the languid waves of a glassy sea:
a mirror for the dreams of the adolescent city.
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