In the ruins of heavy industry, skeletal intentions still persist.
Where once there was manufacturing, production, fabrication, construction,
there is now only an inverted Nirvana, a reverse paradise
where streams run red and soot lingers like a vice,
The achingly familiar industrial skyline diurnally births
up from behind the horizon, looming like bailiffs or hulking fungus in dawn’s light.
Seen in morning’s sordid glory, it has all the horror of animal squalor,
the mechanical collapsing into abstract putrefaction,
maudlin as pornography.
The valley cowers, surrounded by hills crowding round
like a dog-pack going in for the kill.
And stalwart as barnacles, the livid, ugly clouds seal up horizons,
forming a retaining roof, keeping in all the pollution, and creating
an eternal nocturne, where grey, gritty dawns also loiter, finding kinship
in the shadow of dereliction.
The abandoned sites, vast complications of decaying towers and pipes,
and the slimy insides of corroded tanks and dripping chimneys still allude
to an age of active vitality before entropy intruded.
Now the only movement there is the shadows lengthening and retracting,
Defiled with a plethora of poisons from boiling water to sulphuric acid,
the river water turned grey, thick, slow. The seal and salmon came
no more. The oily river-banks were crusted with viciously indelible,
yellow tidemarks, and bordering it at irregular intervals,
like slumbering sentries,
slag-heaps relax in the waxy sun-light, bound together with by-product pride.
The forgotten docks squat sulkily, weeds exploiting the alarming cracks
that seem to grow themselves in ever spreading cobweb fractures,
aiding nature as she patiently reclaims the remains of what was once
Grief gestates in the grave of hope, asserting itself in opposition to growth,
it pollutes more than just dreams—dreams rendered grotesquely pathetic
by the Rorschach chaos. And rage’s negation claims those abandoned
to their fate, here in this redundant conurbation where the past
rusts, and rots on and on.
Mia Hart-Allison © 2010