A Tower In Silence
Since I lived in the shadow of Grenfell in the 70s in what is now the ‘Latymer Christian Centre’ – I ministered in Grenfell – the tragedy has moved me more than I can adequately express
Here’s a pome comparing Grenfell with the Parsi towers of silence.
“A Tower In Silence”
High above the city
On Malabar Hill, Mumbai
Stands a mist caressed silent tower
A shrine of mystery
Where carrion birds flock to feast
On reverently readied
Cadavers of indigent beggars
And former dignitaries
Awaiting ravening beak and claw,
To soar high with eagles
Or become flesh of vultures flesh.
A tower of awful silence
Stands proud over Latimer Road.
A cemetery of sacrificed souls
Poor and poorer- the world in miniature
Children, fathers, aged mothers
Tenants, undocumented others
Collaterals of a theology where
Avarice is the key
And profit is the deity.
The twisted charred remains
Of those awaiting liberation
Waving sheets to gain attention
At cyanide smoke windows
Before the flash of fire
Rendered them flesh of flesh
One with scorched rag clothes
Poundshop plastic kitchenware
Cheap carpeting, cheese-plants,
Beds, bookcases, bibles, pots and pans
And BrightHouse flat screen televisions
Now wait for springer spaniel noses
To be located, enumerated, toe-tagged
Removed in sombre body bags.
They will be
Taken down to earth
Laid in earth
To slowly return to earth
As the thickening fog of lawyers’ lies
And legal niceties
Provides the guilty
Liberty to shut their ears to children’s cries
Wash their hands and walk stain free.
The silent tower stands
A wordless victims’ epitaph.