You don’t care about the wildness of the sky,
my old gasometer! The kitchen window
frames your gaunt frame, the black cross-struts
stand firm, stand out, unyielding to the passion
of reds and purples in the dying day.
I have seen your stark ring taking sunlight
till you were something molten, vanishing,
magical – and when the moment passed
you were strong and dark as your dead hammermen.
(They whistle in the long-gone sheds. Listen!)
You cannot hide where your strength comes from.
You are constructivist to the core.
Did you want gargoyles to crouch in your angles?
I don’t think so. Yours is the art of use.
You could be painted, floodlit, archeologized,
but I prefer the unremitting stance
of what you were in what you are, no more.
You are an iron guard or talisman,
and I hear that those who talk of eyesores
you have consigned, bless you, to the bad place.
Day of tearing down, day of recycling,
wait a while! Let the wind whistle
through those defenceless arms and the moon bend
a modicum of its glamorous light upon
you, my familiar, my stranded hulk – a while!