David Lewis Paget

(22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)

Under the City Streets


There are tunnels, runnels and drains and things
Under the city streets,
There are sewers and cellars where brewers keep
Barrels of French Chablis,
And deep below where the tunnels go
Are the ruins of ancient time,
Where people walked in the distant past
With their lives, like ours, sublime.

There are channels, panels of ancient art
That fade on a crumbling wall,
They haven't been seen since Herod's day
By an underground waterfall,
There are roads with rutted chariot tracks
Still paved with cobblestones,
Where the armies left, and turned to come back
In the times of ancient Rome.

There are harboursides deep under the ground
That once were lined with ships,
Phoenician Galleys with wine, that sallied
To trade on their many trips,
The harbours silted, the land built up
Now many miles from the sea,
And rats now scurry where sailors hurried
To catch the tide on the lea.

And deep down under the harboursides
There are caves that are filled with bones,
Where hunters gathered their animal flesh,
To carve it up in their homes,
They painted pictures up on the walls
With charcoal, ochre and chalk,
In a time when ice had covered the land,
When man had just learned to walk.

So where will we, in a million years
Be seen in the way of things,
Will our skyscrapers be toppled and found
By the folk from Saturn's rings?
Will they say we must have been primitive,
As our cities are under the ground,
With signs of fire, like ancient Tyre,
No living thing to be found!

15 March 2013

Submitted: Thursday, March 14, 2013

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