Chapter 3

ReGenland

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ReGenland

3/9

  1. I remember the day it started
  2. The fabulous merry dance
  3. The bells and the whistles
  4. The spell and the trance
  5. ‘Cmereiwantcha’ says Mam
  6. Pure excited down the phone
  7. There’s a big plan for us
  8. And especially our home
  9. It’s proper big and dramatic
  10. A full transformation
  11. People are saying
  12. It’s called ‘Regeneration’
  13. Everything will be knocked down
  14. Razed to the dust
  15. Then they’ll rebuild
  16. In community and trust
  17. New roads and new buildings
  18. New shops and thoroughfare
  19. The past would be vanquished
  20. The whole nightmare
  21. While this all happened
  22. And the plan was set in train
  23. We’d get a free transfer
  24. To any place you can name
  25. If only it had been that simple
  26. But the suits got involved
  27. Egos and titles
  28. As contractors lol’d
  29. The waiting was endless
  30. No action kicked in
  31. No happy ever after
  32. For me and my kin
  33. Some got fast-tracked
  34. They disappeared at first light
  35. Old houses boarded up
  36. A portent insight
  37. Then nothing happened
  38. No magic beans were sown
  39. ReGen voices now quiet
  40. At the end of the phone
  41. It went on for months
  42. With no sods turned
  43. Then we took the initiative 
  44. As hope was spurned
  45. Empty houses were two a penny
  46. Sitting empty and forlorn
  47. The market provides
  48. So a business was born
  49. Out came the copper boiler
  50. €2 a pound
  51. Good lead off the roof
  52. Slates off the ground
  53. The windows would be next
  54. If they hadn’t been smashed
  55. Nothing else worth taking
  56. So the rest was trashed
  57. Water ran from the pipes
  58. For days on end
  59. Not that city council
  60. Ever realised the trend
  61. Sometimes it would shoot straight up
  62. Like a fountain at Versailles
  63. Springing from the horrors
  64. Of a bourgeois alibi
  65. Soon the houses would burn
  66. The day a family left
  67. We stood around and watched
  68. Our fairytale bereft           
  69.               *
  70. I did it myself
  71. I lit the fire
  72. I turned the Street
  73. Into a pyre
  74. It didn’t take much
  75. And I wasn’t taking pills
  76. We were sitting by the shops
  77. Just looking for thrills
  78. I’d seen it done before
  79. A simple as you like
  80. Find something flammable
  81. And be willing to strike
  82. On the corner of Island View
  83. The ground is hard and lean
  84. The family’s all gone
  85. Up’d sticks to Raheen
  86. The house was a home
  87. Before the Ryans left
  88. Then everything was stripped
  89. As clean as a theft
  90. Round the back of the house
  91. A little more out of view
  92. We popped a metal door
  93. And forced it askew
  94. The door was fixed tight
  95. With all kinds of locks
  96. No match for us locals
  97. We’d undo the docks
  98. Inside it was dark
  99. The carpet soaking wet
  100. A heavy sense of foreboding
  101. For the final vignette
  102. We didn’t go upstairs
  103. A creepy staircase
  104. We could only see
  105. What shadows would trace
  106. We’d light on our phones
  107. Top of the range gear
  108. Taken off young ones
  109. Crying with fear
  110. When we had too many
  111. Or couldn’t get the codes
  112. We’d visit a pawn shop
  113. That shifted boatloads
  114. The money wasn’t great
  115. But better than the Street
  116. You might get a tenner
  117. For our trick or treat
  118. Some of the lads
  119. Would piss on the walls
  120. I was happy
  121. When they stopped with their balls
  122. Burning a house is easy
  123. But not like those clips
  124. Of a couch burning so fast
  125. It’s soon the apocalypse
  126. Better to start with paper
  127. Bed it right down
  128. It takes a few fires
  129. To light up this town
  130. I wait a short minute
  131. A couple of seconds long
  132. To see the flames take hold
  133. To rise all strong
  134. They burn bright colours
  135. And dance all as one
  136. Rising in glory
  137. My creation, my son
  138. The fire brigade do come
  139. After a while
  140. No particular rush
  141. Like a bride down the aisle
  142. They hose the dead home
  143. And stand in the quagmire
  144. The horrors of progress
  145. One massive bonfire
  146. Burnt out houses
  147. Boarded up homes
  148. Rats roaming free
  149. Chewing on fat tomes
  150. Fat tomes of the Master Plan
  151. ReGen’s holy grail
  152. The fetish of mandarins
  153. Back in the Pale
  154. They rewrote it a few times
  155. Depending on politics
  156. Whenever that Trichet
  157. Had Kathleen turn tricks
  158. After destroying half the community
  159. Our dreams and our hopes
  160. They decide they’ll stop
  161. And feed us more tropes
  162. Tropes about taking stock
  163. Imagining a third way
  164. Where everyone is delighted
  165. Dancing in a cabaret
  166. It’s worse now than ever
  167. As bad as Baghdad
  168. Ten years and counting
  169. A forgotten fad
  170. The firemen look around
  171. And survey with disdain
  172. The point of my actions
  173. In my own domain
  174. Then they go home
  175. To Castletroy or Dooradoyle
  176. Warm homes and warm food
  177. Lamenting their toil
  178. What they’d seen from us
  179. The feral actions of youth
  180. Raging and wild
  181. Not far from the truth
  182. Soon they’d forget
  183. Like everyone else who’s paid
  184. To clock in and clock out
  185. And deliver us aid
  186. The firemen would get thanks
  187. With rocks through the sky
  188. Wiping away that smugness
  189. And righteousness lie