Monsters

There are monsters on our streets.

I’ve seen their footprints,

Seen hints behind smoked glass,

Seen glints on paths

Like shards of broken condoms in the aftermath.

I’ve seen houses boarded,

Seen hoardings placarded with warnings,

And heard stories whispered on street corners.

I’ve seen the evidence they leave,

The detritus and the dross each morning,

The lonely and the lost,

The whores who count the cost in doorways

Scoring from the boys they babysat

Before their joy was drawn

Through the eye of a rich man’s needle.

There are monsters on these streets.

They roam in groups that loot and vandalise

And look their victims in the eyes

And spit their lies

About society

But the only thing that’s broken

Are the dreams they choked,

Flames of light put out like candles, trailing into smoke.

They took arteries of hope and opened them.

And watched a generation bleed out on the streets

And let its body rot like meat

And fester in the summer heat

While they discretely pocketed its cash

Planted stashes

And then called in the police.

There are monsters on these streets,

High priests of greed

In cashmere robes and tweed,

The seed of Adam Smith

Feeding myths of freedom

And the creed that the future of civilization’s in their gift.

There are monsters on these streets

But I will not be one of them.

When they see my hood

They may see an animal in me

But when I see their suit

I’ll see more than criminality.

I’ll see more than the brutality

Of narrow-mindedness

And I won’t be blinded by banalities

Like The Common Good and Shared Humanity.

There are only a billion individual histories

From the unreported to the unperturbed

From those distorted and disturbed by laziness

To those whose twisted thoughts we’d rather label craziness.

You see, the only monsters on these streets

Are those we choose to see.

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