New Poem Published

Dousing Steel’s Flames by Carolyn O’Connell

Flames that lit the skies over towns
for years – the beacons viewed from
railroads, ships motorways are due
to dim, snuffed out by edict from
unskilled, unaware hands,

flames that mark towns where
bright steel sings its song of skill
in oratorios with notes fine as cutlery,
deep as the Shard’s supporting girders
sweet as the tracks the train I recall.

It built the planes, tanks, ships that
kept us safe from enemies’; icons
of our past whose children still protect
us from unknown terrors still,
and hide within structures speeding light.

Now these towns and men who know
no other way of life will dim as the flames
are damped, the men close the last gate,
and we are left to feed on fickle money
guard our shores with cypher gilts
and handshakes while others laugh

as we build, sell at their decree
at the folly of the dying flames,
men who sold our skills for fame
cyber gilts and Starbucks.

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