This was the poem that got me back into writing poetry. Our local theatre, The Acorn, was threatened with closure a couple of years ago and I was disappointed that many of the locals weren’t too bothered. They had lived all ‘their lives in this old town and never once been there’.
Fortunately, due to the determination of some people, to whom we should all be grateful, The Acorn survived. Long may it continue to do so.
THE LIGHTS ARE ON…
(or There’s no lights on the Christmas tree, mother; they’re frying our culture tonight)
They’re closing down the theatre but most of us don’t care.
We’ve spent our lives in this old town and never once been there.
So will you please leave on the lights before you leave our town.
We’re more than glad to bask beneath the glare of dumbing down
And when the drama queens lament “One’s cultural cupboard’s bare!”
We sit and watch The X Factor and never leave our chair.
Who needs the arts when we have got a TV like a wall?
It’s there before the window, as we don’t use that at all.
It’s down to us if we throw in our theatrical towel;
But loss of Shakespeare is our gain now we’ve got Simon Cowell.
I know my poem will not provoke a changing of our minds;
The people who I represent will never see these lines.
And those of you who read my verse must stifle your applause
As I preach to the converted (Just like the theatre does?).
And when it comes to journey’s end; that awful day we die
Will we wonder, “Did we exist?” “Had we the chance to fly?”
Coffins built with plasma lids will be the must have item
Happily we’ll rest in peace and watch ads infinitum.
For us it’s Tescos, work then home, enlightened all the while
But don’t you worry about us; fluorescence suits our style.
So when you go leave on the lights and raise a question mark
How, that we’re bathed in all this light, are we still in the dark?
© gray lightfoot
Hear Gray reading the poem…