The Tower Block

This poem was in the 1983 anthology Where There’s Smoke, which was the fourth one from Hackney Writers’ Workshop. Ron Barnes was a cabbie.

The Tower Block

Standing in the fog yellow light.
Listening to the muffled melody,
Of turning wheels, and running
The grey precisioned door slides stiffly
like a grey sentry,
And hollow echoes boom in the
Eight foot box.

The button pressed in this solitude,
In this insular compartment
And you are pulled up – Or,
Dragged down, according to the

The grey stone floor staring steps,
The walls soiled as a tramps heels.
Felt pen poems of loves,
And other facts of life,
Make an unwelcome and only change.
Comin up, or going down.

Glass panes take the drunken rage,
Or hilarious boredom.
And from this great distance,
You look down on this, tower blocked
Toy town.

Ron Barnes


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