OLD EMPIRE

Posted: April 6, 2013 in Chat
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The refurb on the Regal Ballroom was done with the wrong shade,

using youthful and dynamic hues. It should be faded glory.

The tale it is telling the world of supplements, glossy mags

is now of the primped and preened, when its real story

is one all recognise: decline, and old grandeur; the rags

of State and empire, that still adhere in a place like this:

the peeling  of frescoes, gilt  cornices; the loss of prestige, trade.

 

The Jubilee Line rattles the foundations; a dust ghost

with glinting buttons, bayonet, in auditorium, on stairs.

The ballroom built over previous habitations; it replaced

a minor palace, Girls’ Academy. From those stairs

we watched the building of our dream of State, and how we placed

ourselves within it; both pros and cons raised in one toast.

 

Doorway sleepers choose here for the warm draughts at night;

that they are here at all is still appalling: ‘The homeless,’

we now say, ‘are always with us.’; cite this as right.

How all now sleep in the glow from old warmth, alone;

the half-life of old empire continues to light us

long after it’s left us. ‘Dead is the right of might!’, we blithely recite.

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