Glasgow Slums

A poem from the 1969 Corgi anthology Doves For The 70s

Glasgow Slums

Rats run, unheeding, through the court
or stop to drink
from scum-topped, stinking pools
that make the place a bog.

A dog rakes, mindless, in the waste
from dustbin dropped
and scatters a he goes
a swarm of buzzing flies.

And overall, a smell, a stench
of dump, disease, decay.
The crumbling walls,
the shattered panes,
the filth, the muck.

And, in the midst of this
a child plays, heedless and content,
never questioning
that this is right, or kind, or just.

George Hardie


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