r e g e n e r a t i o n

r e g e n e r a t i o n
(an anagram poem)

family histories hung in eerie
hush as civic planners eager to retire
assembled to engineer
the swift demise of a once-proud region
where nobody spent more than they could earn
and sugar was still on ration
while tin-bath broods scrubbed by roaring
fires and upper-lips stiffened as teeth were grit
and roast dinner aromas too good to ignore
brought kids home from running riot
to the house their parents were renting
and once they had eaten their father muttered gannet
then they played on the street in the rain


smoke-stained botanically ornate
walls were unfeelingly felled into rubble with the groan
of a square-jawed giant
that sadistically stalked shambolically neat
houses of a surplus generation
built when fields were greener and teenage
sons had not yet gone with a wave and a grin
for a nation
that was once great
toward the distant roar
of an ogre
not explained in the Boys’ Own range

kids play on the grass that the council call the green
and injuries from stabbings are remarkably rare
so says the sign on entering
this part of town at any rate
where apartments stand with pristine granite
surfaces and instant gratification is all the rage
with everyone ‘on the same page’ and rent
is paid through an app that helps us orienteer
a journey from there to here and a ringtone
reminds us to breathe while an old man is ranting
them were the days when doors were unlocked and a tree
grew here but now it’s a shop selling anything retro
and an indistinguishable sculpture made of iron
detracts from the overpriced panini we are eating
in a coffee shop called Instant Regret

by Wayne T. Brown

Wayne T. Brown’s “r e g e n e r a t i o n” came second place in the 18+ poetry category as part of our 25th Birthday Writing Competition.