• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 02
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William Blake dreams of London in its current condition

I made a makeshift game of skittles,
   at which the carefree clouds descended;
they viewed my neatly chevron’d bottles;
   their mockery was all too candid.

A chorus issued from those vapours,
   a jeering travesty of hope.
“Do you not mark the evening papers?
   The time, they say, is overripe

to look and see things as they are –
   to see beyond your carelessness.”
And as I stooped to bowl, I saw
   a plastic-towered wilderness;

the skittled lane I’d made gave way
   to London choked. As in a dream,
the wasted river throbbed; astray,
   I stumbled from that toxic stream.

Perhaps I woke – I cannot tell –
   but thick-aired day revealed the worst.
My plastic game went on while all
   our innocents expired of thirst.