After Charlie by Mandy Macdonald

 ‘Across the planet 300 million men, women and children are looking for work in order to have the minimal means for survival. The Tramp is no longer singular.’ (John Berger on Charlie Chaplin, Sight & Sound 25/1, Jan. 2015)

Behind the Little Tramp there tramp
and trudge three hundred million more –
all the colours of the earth,
………….all the colours of poverty,
…………………….all the colours of starvation.

Women, children, men
tread a grey Calvary through
the glistening, oiled world of the rich,
its golden doors that are closed to them
except as servants
………….except as slaves
……………………..except as currency.

In the desert language of economists
they are called human capital
people are profit on the hoof
walking money
driven to market

until they stampede

flow like sand dunes, rise like floodwaters
around the feet of the crystal palaces
press on the monstrous glass prisons
with the countless palms of their
finally staunchless rage

bring down the towers,
equalize.

2 thoughts on “After Charlie by Mandy Macdonald

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