Creative Competition Winners 2014 – Written Category 3rd Place: ‘Dispirited’

“Unlovely place / of warehouses squat, desolate and grey”


Tired and thinking of home I miss my exit
And find myself in an industrial park –
Shift down to third, the car moves at a crawl,
the rain hissing beneath its tyres, the wipers
groaning across its screen. Unlovely place
of warehouses – squat, desolate and grey
– squeezed by the iron sky, and edged with scrub;
new offices with spacious, tinted windows
betraying nothing, where no face is seen;
and huddled forklift trucks like roosting birds.
Efficient, isolate and uniform,
it chills the soul of course. But there is something
to make you disbelieve in that old myth –
to have you fancy that the shapeless wind –
which toys and dallies with a Tesco bag –
is all there is of spirit; coursing through
our inner architecture carelessly.
Dispirited, you start to feel at home,
are unintimidated by the void
and gawping buildings; stirred, perhaps, to settle
on the unloved land, where a pylon’s foot
meets reddish turf and there begin to sing
of trade, supply and telemarketing.

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