Thursday 3 August 2017

In the aftermath of Grenfell Tower

From that fateful night in June,
And the days that followed that conflagration,
Nary a tower block that I see,
Fills with the angst of the souls therein,
For in the other was the struggle and fight,
Against the rigid and established order,
That bullied and threatened,
Those who spoke and wrote of foreboding disaster,
The indifference of officialdom was palpable,
As the double-barrelled named,
Could hardly be bothered,
At the shrieking of the poorer,
In a borough of the stupendously rich,
To wit, they sought to beautify,
The Babel of today,
They spent pounds and saved pennies,
With cladding that offered skin-deep beauty,
Low in the building on that night,
A fire started that should not have spread,
But like tinder, the cladding lit,
And a ladder it became for the fire to climb,
To the top, the flames did race,
In the building, the victims did panic,
Many in flat and stairwells trapped,
As they succumbed to fumes and smoke,
By the time we knew what had happened,
Over four score souls had perished,
The councillors with their tin ears,
Ignored the tragedy as they had ignored the residents,
She of whom was spoken of as strong and stable,
Lacked the paps for care and compassion,
Scurrying she raced from the heart of the matter,
As selfless neighbours showed great humanity,
In it, we saw the great divide,
That had become an unbridgeable cavern,
Between the have-nots and have yachts,
Our unequal society indicted and convicted,
Which makes me constantly wonder,
When I see a tower teeming with life,
Do they all sleep in there safe and sound?
Knowing that from disaster they can flee,
If an ugly day does come like in June,
Where many in the edifice of mock-beauty,
Were cruelly and atrociously cremated alive,
Because someone somewhere did not care,
About life and livelihood that brings no profit,
To their selfish political aims,
In my city, I see many a tower,
Stripped of the panels of superfluity,
Revealing the raw underbelly,
That might well save a life or two,
As we find in many tests conducted,
All around the land and abroad,
That the safety we took for granted,
Was a standing crematorium,
We must not rest on this matter,
Until the culpable and accessory,
That conspired in this murderous enterprise,
See the sternest face of the law,
Even after that is done,
It would never really be,
Justice for the victims of Grenfell Tower.

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