David Lewis Paget
The Tower - Poem by David Lewis Paget
The city was laid like a wasteland
Like a rusting, crumbling sore,
Half of the houses were boarded up
Along a neglected shore,
The spirit had long gone out of it
That had made the city great,
Men fifty miles to the south of it
Were determining its fate.
Way up on the Presidential floor
Was a group of greedy men,
The czars of the old industrial core
Who had bled the town back then,
‘The real estate’s a disaster, ’ said
A man who had been the Mayor,
‘The auto plants are a rusting heap, ’
Said the man who held the Chair.
‘We’ve got more pensioners on the funds
Than workers in the plants,
There’s crime and violence in every street
And the Unions make demands.
So what’s the conclusion, gentlemen,
Do we give this plan its head? ’
‘Whatever we do, it’s much too late,
The city’s as good as dead! ’
And that’s how they came to build ‘The Tower’
To illuminate the sky,
‘There’s plenty of work for everyone
At a hundred storeys high! ’
Nobody knew just what it did
Or what they were building for,
They only knew that they had a wage,
Could hold up their heads once more.
A central lift in The Tower went up
And down ten times a day,
Taking tools and materials
To restrict the Tower’s sway,
‘They say we’re going to go High-Tech
And they’re closing down the Plants,
The days of auto’s have gone for good
But they won’t tell us their plans.’
The Tower was built within the year
With a gaping hole up top,
A semi drove through the streets one day
And by The Tower, it stopped.
It carried a massive box-like thing
With a mass of flashing lights,
Was loaded into the lift, and sent
Up on its maiden flight.
They took it up and it crowned The Tower
While the people watched in awe,
There hadn’t been people in the streets
Like this since the Second War.
A massive counter was counting down
As the people stood and cheered,
‘I hope it’s not what I think it is, ’
Said a man with a long, white beard.
While down in the Presidential Suite
Just fifty miles away,
A group of men put their sunnies on
And stood by the window bay,
‘Well how do you clear a festering slum, ’
Said one, as he watched the clock,
While back at The Tower a sign lit up
And the word was ‘Ragnarok! ’
18 November 2013
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