October 9, 2018
A few days ago we introduced our new series of blogs. Every month we’ll be publishing a poem about…every month of the year!
However, we’ve also got some other poems which we’ll post up from time to time. Here’s another one written by Anne Woodcock complete with an introduction. Enjoy!
Completed 4th August 2018
This poem was inspired by the glossy images on hoardings surrounding land on the Royal Exchange site in the centre of Kingston Upon Thames, waiting to be developed as part of the St George West London collection of property developments. Almost exclusively, these images showed attractive, professional young adults in an idealised and affluent urban setting.
St George, who once was famed for dragon-slaying,
Now offers public views of paradise
So-called! These days he has some job in real estate.
His name promotes rapt visions of a life
That’s polished, primped and packaged, neat ’n’ nice…
Parading by the ring road images
Of luxury, depicted in cool views
Of chic and shiny cafes, and smart apartment suites,
Of airy plazas and uncluttered streets,
Peopled by figures posed with perfect poise.
In space bereft of any imperfection,
No wheelchair or crutch is to be seen.
Nothing so unsightly as a normal child,
Or old-age pensioner, or grimy workman
Can be allowed to taint the flawless dream.
Immaculately trimmed and manicured,
Hipsterishly suited, and arrayed
With coffee, tablet, smartphone – all tastefully on trend –
These people are the silent screen on which
Our shallowest desires are displayed.
How would it be to live among these people,
Consumed with their carefully curated lives?
We’d feel thinned out to sheer invisibility
By all the copious, constant self-regarding
That veils the view of all else from their eyes.
Such lack of human vulnerability –
Even of ordinariness – must mean,
For sure, no grace of kindness, or compassion either,
Could grow in such a sun-baked, sterile soil:
A howling desert lurks beneath the sheen.
St George was famous once for slaying dragons,
For bravely answering heroism’s call;
He’s now a slick purveyor of modern paradise,
Where style trumps substance, where the perfect look
Is all. Turns out that is no paradise