Poem in Homage to Built things in Three-dimensions.

Sunlight, yellow, on an upright gable
standing by waste-ground, a bright autumn sky
behind it and a foreground of low rubble,
transforms place into geometry –

the nice arrangement of adjoining planes,
¬almost like a work by Malevich.
Here are the big quotation marks of cranes.
Train tracks. Tramlines. Suddenly a bridge

staked out, foot by foot, over the river
– form as a virtue of necessity:
tensed suspension cable, cantilever,
and canyon. I like these relics of industry.

I like warehouses too: the heartfelt views
from high loft windows onto square, grey yards;
old balconied apartments in Cadiz
in cobbled streets; marble; misericords

under the seats of medieval churches,
bombed to just the naves – their empty shells
deep and rectangular like lid-less boxes;
anywhere weed grows on windowsills

or structure finds its guarded heart exposed –
for we shall give up what’s interior
(a townhouse on our route that has been razed
except two corner walls, frayed wallpaper);

or mills slumped by canals; the struts and stilts
of factories rusting back to skeletons;
in broken open cupolas and vaults:
gudgeons, anchors, hoopings, stays and chains;

for all of this we’re pleased to see convert,
to something else, in a bright heaven where
held on the open network or closed circuit
our brilliant concourses are light and air,

with building blocks and freight of one and nought;
for wagon after wagon of fast goods
– experience itself, perhaps, pure thought
or pure potential… Icons? Wingless birds

flitting with ease across limitless space
– all that is instant and intangible;
transparent bills hung on an interface
transparent too – so on that gable wall

where some forgotten manufacturing sign
‘Take Courage’, say (try, even if you don’t)
remains in place, we smile to see sun shine
on crumbling brickwork and on faded paint.