On The Up
by Paul Dovey
He was on the up,
He knew what to say, voted the right way,
And he kept the report buried,
In the time capsule under his desk,
The hermetically sealed preservation of the old order.
The area was on the up,
Shopping centres and investors,
The supersonic property boom,
Legacy tenants just taking up room,
Because, "There's no magic money tree,"
Well, not for the likes of you and me.
They looked up,
From their multi-million pound mews,
From their gentrified Victorian slums,
At the blocky, vertically angular skyline,
And at other people's homes,
Spoiling their view.
She was on the up,
21st fucking floor,
Buggy, shopping, three kids,
Builders, hard hats, hi-viz,
Banging, crashing, acrid tang,
Maybe they'd make it better again.
Then it went up,
They never heard a thing,
Until it was too late,
Stay put, stay safe,
Compartmentalised, like our lives,
As the cladding went up like a cheap night-shirt.
A blackened monolith stands against the summer sky,
A giant smoking question mark,
How could it happen? We already knew!
What needs answering now...
Is what will we do?
Paul Dovey is a trade unionist who sometimes gets angry and writes things. He strongly believes that the act of creativity itself is empowering and that working class culture should make its own space and use its own voice.