Little Council Flats

Little council flats in little
blocks of four in their rows
of two and three sit cosily on
their spacious grassy sward
built over seventy years ago
before earthquake building laws.

When the earth heaves, ripples
rumbles, rending apart ground
and buildings on these islands
on the tectonic lip, heaving
itself over the edge of its

sibling plates, buildings bend
buckle, rise, fall. collapse in
awkward jagged hillocks, in
mountains of splintered shards.

Our country’s buildings rise
up again, strengthened, transformed
or demolished, replaced in
the aftermath of this decade’s
constant relentless earthquakes.

Row by row, block by block
demolition balls shatter
these elderly council flats
whose tortured limbs are
removed by roaring giant lorries.

Little Council Flats