The burning times didn’t last, fires
were put out, our names forgotten.
We wanted to change the world and did
for one brief, glorious moment. But then
it was over and everyone got rich quick:
they bought up where we used to live,
tidied up, got jobs, sold up and moved
away. Old friends didn’t keep in touch,
the streets and walls were cleaned,
our achievements became nostalgia
for the nouveau riche to dream about.
The bad times have been forgotten,
the seventies seem easier now
than when we lived out of skips
and whatever markets left behind.
We drive along roads we opposed
being built, live in the shadow
of flats where houses used to be.
The flyover cuts through our past:
I do not remember the concerts
we once attended beneath it,
the warm sounds of shared summers
before concrete flattened ideals
and our records became collectable.
The good times have not all gone,
but it is up to us to create them,
to remake a circus of our lives,
resurrect the clowns, banish
the ringmaster and laugh again.
Time has not stopped, our time
is now. Let memory be a reminder
not a solace, let history repeat
itself, let us pull ourselves up
towards the light and once again
set fire to the future that awaits.
© Rupert M Loydell
Pic: Claire Palmer