The Future

Tower after tower
in the damp morning.
Traffic thunders
to the accompaniment
of chattering drills.

The stark cranes
of HYUNDAI
stand erect,
aimed at the heart
of heaven.

Here the Orchard
is a street
of snarling cars
and strolling couples
(nutmeg trees no more).

The yellow ELLISON BUILDING
1924
(a refuge for Indian traders)
decays flake by flake
among skyscrapers.

I look through the window
of a crowded bus:
red lanterns are swinging
over the streets
of the Lion City.

Is such the future
of our world,
towers of commerce
breathing steam
into the humid heat?

This poem derives from impressions of a recent trip to Singapore, which coincided with the Chinese New Year. It may well form the germ of a new sequence.

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