Dialogue by Paul Sutton

A young child on viola, how European! Even if the house is Victorian or Georgian.

Large areas of English cities form unexpected oases of beauty for faces smudged with coal smuts look at the fruit trees of considerable height they blossom in spring as the former basements are bathed in light.

My father claimed beauty in grey from a sea which throttled me.

The key to regeneration is art and culture – and community. We may bustle and bristle but this get things done, which is not to be sneered at – if a pier collapses, artisanal bread floats and forms a life-raft.

Have you tried tea and cakes of pig fat, rides through brickworks to a single room?

Now communal chanting and swift crowd judgements thrill the eager visitor as torch-lit parades enthral an audience even Dali could not dream of.

And thinness, an effect of genocide, it taught me “art”.

An explosion in higher education has created our population bursting for poetry, song and thin monographs on Slovenian surrealists.

Now I see them urinating in lay-bys or gallivanting in burnt fields as crops rot.

Take your pick from the vast array of restaurants of every nationality – many of which serve food children can safely eat.

Alien clothes stand surreal at bus stops, teeth gleam – violence awaits us all.

A mature debate is needed – the lack of nuance astounds those of us educated in higher values.

My front room is ready. The books are sentinel and sempiternal.

Anything but immediate condemnation is blatant support for these flag-waving lunatics.

So many arguments to confront a rush of fire.

My page stands ready for any flag, be it national or regional.

Maybe not the thrack as the petrol catches.

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