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True Urban


Rusty Broadspear

Give me a canvass and brushes

And let me paint you a picture.

For I am sure you don't understand

My uncomfortable dilemma,

My solitary circumstance.

I will paint a countryside mansion,

Gleaming white, and central

To acres of rolling grounds.

Matchstick people socialise

Under the proudest of Summer skies.

In the distance you will see the hunt,

Listen carefully for the hue and cries.

One horse rears up, throwing its rider.

Waitresses scamper the party

Serving tea and cucumber sandwiches.

The drapes of a ground floor window

Frame his Lord and Ladyship,

Who haughtily survey the party.

Not a hell raiser but a fund raiser,

Towards the upkeep of their home.

A group of heirs to fortunes

Share a table, bottles and glasses

On the grass around them.

Raucous laughter, pulling a waitress,

And yelling an order for more drinks.

Off to one side, young girls in long dresses

Play tag, with boys in shorts and white shirts.

A girl has fallen and is dirty and crying,

A boy grins and pokes fun.

Motley activities under a punishing Sun.

The foreground I have left until last,

For it corrupts this traditional scene.

A prostrate man under cardboard,

Unshaven, unclean, against

A concrete wall that is about to fall.

He is not aware of the scene behind him,

Or of the precarious state of the wall.

Arm raised, he wakens, to the sounds and smells

Of a back street that is reborn,

Every day, in the same way.

Give what you will for my picture sir,

For you will be buying a hundred different stories.

Stories of fortune and stories of fate

Buy now, read my picture, before it's too late.

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