The City

To be everything the world desires
To be old and new
The tart and the dame
Are receiving at home

To have grown of labour
Squared in fingernails
Toned muscle hiding grip

Polished sheen over unseen grit

Betrayed by speed
Service with a smile
The doing become the undoing
Of tales that beguile

Knowing the smarts
Of Pleasing hosts
Of glories past
And futures overtaken

Neither courtesan nor mistress true
Nor made of wifely glue
Veiled sirens sitting still
None daring to blink
Lest the magic fail



(This was penned during a visit to Shanghai in February 2013. Those who know of the glamour, the grit and the transformation of the city will be able to read the story. Feb 2013 was also an inflexion point in the economics of the city and the country – a slight dip and recovery was – if not foretold, much hoped for)


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