A Ruin in the Midlands

But I woke in an old ruin that the winds howled through

W B Yeats

Back in the age of candlelight and grandeur,

of banquets in the chieftain’s mansion,

there was meat and drink

for the ladies and the lords

and tunes upon the harpsichord.

But all that is history, the candle-factory

ceased to prosper, ceased to exist.

In the ruins of the chieftain’s mansion

there are trespassers in a state of bliss.

They are there for the dope and the pills.

There’s a cider-party, a ghetto-blaster

blasting Lady Gaga; chicken bones

and burger wrappers littering what remains

of the halls of marble, the rooms without tapestries

where phantoms go about their useless tasks.

from A Song of Elsewhere, Dedalus Press, 2015

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