Mantz Yorke

Redevelopment

 

As proud as a tombstone, the east window
slants the sun on to rubble,
its stained glass fragmenting
a wintery light.

Here choirs would harmonise their mill-work with hymns
bellowed silently,
transcending the deafening
cacophony of looms.

No more. Their powerhouse is a tumble of bricks
open to the sky, a scree
dammed to metastability
by saplings of pipe:

its dark octagonal stack, one axle of a revolution,
is cracked and iron-strapped,
a gnomon idly marking time
over converted offices,

too tall to fell. So a scaffold is creeping upward,
a metallic saprophyte
drawing strength from mortar
rain has decomposed to sand.

How many constructions, physical and metaphysical,
will be demolished
when the old is broken open
by the egg-tooth of the new?

 

[Note]
Before the first world war, mills in England were so noisy that, in some, workers collectively mimed hymns as they wove cloth on the looms.

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Mantz Yorke lives in Manchester, England.  He is a prize-winning poet whose poems have appeared in a number of print magazines, anthologies and e-magazines in the UK, Ireland, Israel, Canada, the US and Hong Kong.

A Literary Magazine