LEEDS 2002 by Barry Tebb
What ghosts haunt
These streets of perpetual night?
Riverbanks fractured with splinters of glass condominiums
For nouveam riche merchant bankers
Black-tied bouncers man clubland glitz casinos
Novotel, Valley Park Motel, the Hilton:
Hot tubs, saunas, swim spas, en suite
Satellite TV, conference rooms, disco dinners.
I knew Len, the tubby taxi man
With his retirement dreams of visiting
The worldâ€™s great galleries:
â€˜Titian, Leonardo, Goya,
Iâ€™ve lived all my life in the house I was born in
All my life Iâ€™ve saved for this tripâ€™
The same house he was done to death in
Tortured by three fourteen year olds,
Made headlines for one night, another
Murder to add to Beestonâ€™s five this year.
Yorkshire Forward advertises nation-wide
The northâ€™s attractions for business expansion
Nothing fits together any more
Addicts in doorways trying to score
The new Porsches and the new poor
Air-conditioned thirty-foot limos, fibre-optic lit,
Uniformed chauffeurs fully trained in close protection
And anti-hijack techniques, simply the best â€“
See for yourself in mirrored ceilings.
See for yourself the screaming youth
Soaring psychotic one Sunday afternoon
Staggering round the new coach station
"Iâ€™ll beat him to death the day I see him next"
Fifty yards away Millgarth police stationâ€™s
Fifty foot banner proclaims â€˜Letâ€™s fight crime togetherâ€™
I am no poet for this age
I cannot drain nostalgia from my blood