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LEEDS 2002 by Barry Tebb
What ghosts haunt

These streets of perpetual night?

Riverbanks fractured with splinters of glass condominiums

For nouveam riche merchant bankers

Black-tied bouncers man clubland glitz casinos

Novotel, Valley Park Motel, the Hilton:

Hot tubs, saunas, swim spas, en suite

Satellite TV, conference rooms, disco dinners.

I knew Len, the tubby taxi man

With his retirement dreams of visiting

The world’s great galleries:

‘Titian, Leonardo, Goya,

I’ve lived all my life in the house I was born in

All my life I’ve saved for this trip’

The same house he was done to death in

Tortured by three fourteen year olds,

Made headlines for one night, another

Murder to add to Beeston’s five this year.

Yorkshire Forward advertises nation-wide

The north’s attractions for business expansion

Nothing fits together any more

Addicts in doorways trying to score

The new Porsches and the new poor

Air-conditioned thirty-foot limos, fibre-optic lit,

Uniformed chauffeurs fully trained in close protection

And anti-hijack techniques, simply the best –

See for yourself in mirrored ceilings.

See for yourself the screaming youth

Soaring psychotic one Sunday afternoon

Staggering round the new coach station

"I’ll beat him to death the day I see him next"

Fifty yards away Millgarth police station’s

Fifty foot banner proclaims ‘Let’s fight crime together’

I am no poet for this age

I cannot drain nostalgia from my blood
View Barry Tebb:  Poems | Biography | Books

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