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Friday 5 April 2013


Come with me, my friend,
we'll walk this town
of high hopes and grand promises
and you shall see
the fruits of all those yearnings,
the deliverance of years --
three decades -- of
unbroken rule that led
us to this promised land.

Come see the wonders
that have made this town
the envy of the world.

See here, my friend,
think what imaginings are here.
Have you seen anywhere
a town with more
or better housing for the destitute?
It stretches in its leafy streets
as far as you can see...
What architect would not be proud
to have designed so many?
This is New Minimal, a concept
that ensures the houses are so tiny that
they hardly break into the lines
of architect-planned trees.

We come now to
a major aspect of our brave new world:
the largest and most graceful
prison in the hemisphere.
At a pinch it could be made to hold
a fifth of the town's population,
so I'm told. And doesn't it look swell?
I love those bright mosaics on the walls!

And now there's this: for many, I believe
the highlight of them all:
the children's cemetery.
The concept was so popular
we set aside
land to last us centuries,
but already it is filling up --
as you can see from fields
of marble Teddy Bears, Walt
Disney figurines and animals
to catch a child's imagination.
I swear there's nowhere like it in the world!

And lastly what for me must take the prize:
Are you not over-awed as others
have been in the past? What do you make of it.
For me it conjures up a union
of two of the world's greats:
I see The Sydney Opera House
with, in its arms, The Guggenheim Museum
in Bilbao, the latter being
the world's first future generation
generator of more power
than anyone could need.
There is a price to pay, of course...
and so, embracing it -- and passionately too,
in my imagination -- is the hospital
for treatment and research into
all forms of radiation sickness
burns and injury. Had Eden had
a hospital, this, without a doubt,
is what it would have had!

Are you not now impressed as I
with our town's gracious living?

The Theme was suggested by Victoria C. Slotto for this week's Meeting the Bar: Critique and Craft at dVerse Poets' Pub


Anonymous said...

Ever since the building of stone hedges and pyramids, humans' priorities seem a bit odd. Well said in a modern tone.

Mary said...

You definitely saved the most 'stunning' for last, Dave. Humans really are hard to understand, and what they conceive sometimes seems inconceivable.

izzy said...

A children's cemetery apart from family ?! my, my- The others are
forward thinking seems to me! thanks.

Janine Bollée said...

Every line a winner. Tongue-in-cheek at its best.
It would be funny if it weren't so true.
O dear, the dratted verif I notice. Sorry, you must have had trouble.
I'll have to grin and bear it. Here I go, how many attempts will I need this time. We are the ones behind bars, whilst the criminals run free.
Wish me luck.
You can zapp this David.Just me grouching again.

Jinksy said...

Grim, but gutsy...

Rachna Chhabria said...

Love this line "we'll walk this town
of high hopes and grand promises"

Brian Miller said...

dang. well written dave, is it ever a wonder at what we believe is a priority

Gerry Snape said...

auldrv4091Once again Dave you have hit the spot of emotion in taking us on a journey from hope to a desperate reality that we hope never to have to face. And in it all some wonderful lines and rhythms that just have to be read aloud ...Thankyou!

3rd time lucky for the numbers I hope!

ds said...

Zap! "Gracious living" indeed. Perfect tone throughout, and the final image--wow.
Thank you.

Tabor said...

A striving for immortality to tell others I was here once.

Carl said...

Powerful. The bit about the childrens cemetery will haunt me.

Cloudia said...

Ah the road of good intentions.....look on the bright side, you could live in gone-mad America!:-)


Claudia said...

oh heck..that gave me shivers...esp. the children's cemetery...ugh...a price too high to pay

Anonymous said...

Yikes. This is so chilling. I'm not sure there's not a bit too much truth in this irony. Arrrgh.

Kathy Reed said...

Well done, Dave..right on! It seems the world is one big ironic joke sometimes.;)

Ygraine said...

This sent shivers down my spine...where is the human race headed?
Such tiny homes for the living, while the children's cemetery is vast...and the prison - so much more lavish than the homes of decent people.
Then, there is the hospital designed to treat all those man-made maladies...so disturbing...and truly amazing! :)

hedgewitch said...

Definitely Orwellian, and excellent use of irony--also of the truth, as that seems to be exactly what I'm looking at, all over the world--the prison, the child's graveyard, and the hospital of glorious proportions to fit a malignancy equally huge. Enjoyed it, David--in a rueful way.

Anonymous said...

This seems like the world "call me Dave" and his cronies want to create for the rest of us to inhabit. Are you sure this isn't a draft of the next Tory manifesto? Or maybe it's the Labour one - kind of hard to tell the difference these days.

Anonymous said...

An ironic nightmare - great write.

Anonymous said...

i like the part aobut the disney character]

First Rose

Kerry O'Connor said...

Hi Dave, I see this poem was written for dVerse's Irony challenge but was linked to Real Toads' Existentialism challenge. I'm a little confused, so I won't comment on the grounds of my challenge. Allow me to say that I did enjoy the read.

Elephant's Child said...

Ouch. Perhaps it is a mood of mine, but I see at least as much truth and irony.

Dave King said...

Well again, my thanks to Everyone.
I am grateful to you all for your interesting observations. Much as I expected there was a large measure of agreement in the responses. I guess the subject chosen made sure of that, so a big, big thank you and i will leave it at that.

Except for the newcomers, and to you a warm welcome and the hope that you will come again.

Anonymous said...

This poem just seethes with irony, truly scary portrait you have painted