Saturday, October 22, 2016


These pictures were taken on the Hogsback Tour Iwent on recently


Among   red-brick ruins

Walking on the mountain, we  start to follow
a narrow path between  the  bushes
A ragged vagrant comes towards us  from behind a rock,
holds out a hopeful  hand
“I used to stay here,” he says. ”My friends and I .
Once there was a zoo here on this mountain slope
A zoo and a University.
Girls in short skirts, bright tops and scarves, boys in Tshirts and jeans
 would walk between the cages of jackals, porcupines and monkeys

A lonely mangy lion lived here  behind a  fenc e of stakes
A hollow block of stained  cement  made him a sort of-den
He sometimes used to give out strangled roars
to scare us  students  working late at night

This  space here was  the wildebeest and zebra paddock and
this tangled ivy  covered  stone  of lecture halls
Those rusted iron boilers and that broken chimney –pipe
are all that’s left of what used, long ago,  to be  
the  faculty of engineering .

We always sat here on these steps. reading and chatting
We sat here between classes.  and after seminars
Then later we all just sat here
Waiting, waiting,
It was the lion that left first and then the zebras and the monkeys.
I saw my friends off at the airport.
 others caught the Greyhound.
I was left behind.

They are so young, so brave, so beautiful
Facing shields and bullets with their stones
and their buckets of poo.
shouting  incomprehensible,t courageous words
as they break barriers ,beat  down towers,
force   gates to open up for  every  -one. l.

But when they get inside the walls they’ll  find
the halls of learning have dissolved,  
They’ve turned to mist and floated off into the cloud.
While the pale conquerors they so despise
have been invaded in their turn, been colonised
by dark hordes from the Middle East and Africa