This Changing City

Drone city 5

Do you still love
The changing city?
Or is Dr.Johnson’s
Diagnosis still spot on?
The vintage Capital
Of capitalism has
Always been a hive
Of wanton wasps
As well as busy bees
So any complaint
About the latest twister
Of mercantile chaos
– chaos too has a
Logic and shape
The philosophers say-
Seems to miss
The point of this place…
Towers of mud and wood
Of stone and iron and brick
And now of glass and steel
Eternally rise and fall here
Symbols of the empires
Men build to their own glory
In every generation
Monuments to the stories
Of triumph written in blood
And death and adventure
By men (and women)
Who dared disturb the universe
Regardless of right and wrong
Of being branded criminals
By the vanquished and the timid
By the holy men and poets
By all true apostles of Jesus
And his gospel of love
By all true believers in Buddha
And his outrageous compassion
By anyone with a childlike
Heart smuggled into adulthood…
All the brilliance of this city
Down fabled millennia
The divine magnificence
Of her art and science
And mind-blowing invention
All are woven into the violence
Of her unstoppable momentum
Her terrible desire and lust
For victory in the games
Of gold and diamonds
And oil and bragging rights
Over all pretenders to the throne…
Do you still love
This changing city?
This city of glittering dust?
Or is Dr.Johnson’s
Diagnosis still spot on?
This city that tears apart
And rips to shreads
The common weal
Blasphemes the dead
And their enlightened dream
Of a new Jerusalem?
The old Jerusalem burns
With greed and hatred
And ammunitions purchased here
This city is a nightmare
For any who do not love her
Either find a way to love her
Or leave…


Roddy McDevitt
Illustration: Claire Palmer

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