Higher Ideals by Graham Bruce Fletcher

The cities’ brave new cathedrals aspire,
rising higher, to worship the landlord
reducing urban housing density.
The tenants of the gracious deity
their domestic footprints made much smaller
spare more living room for those entitled
who provide an affordable quarter
to accommodate the common people.
Benevolently investing, patrons
make a show of being truly caring;
they must at least appear to treat plebs well
or they’ll protest. ‘Which is awfully wearing.
A lick of paint’, they say, ‘costs nothing much,
and some cosmetics justify more rent.
As long as things are done within budget
throw them a sop, then it’s money well spent.
When it comes down to material facts
we count most because we have more to count,
others are simply immaterial
and should be grateful that we rent them homes
not complain we make a little profit
from all the money that we spent on them.’
And this is why the landlords pile them high
and sell their cheaper lives, down the river.
Money makes a poor building foundation;
comprised of empty promises, it burns
leaving us all with nothing above ground.
For the lords of the land there is no faith
money is worthless in the face of death,
though they would buy the vulgar pretty shrouds
rather than see them equal to themselves.
The common people hate high cathedrals.

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