Wednesday 24 September 2008

Recessive Gene

Ah the Recession: I'm not saying its a good thing - god knows it wasn;t a good thing in the 80s, when there were no jobs and no hope. But I confess to a certain amount of fascinated interest watching the kids who grew up in the boom come to terms - slowly - with the sudden loss of instant gratification. Here's hoping it lasts long enough to teach a few lessons and ends soon enough to spare them the worst lessons of the last recession.

We're going back in time
back to the 80s,
back to the time
when pennies counted and money
pinched us
from payday to payday
and we spent our time hounded by
bills, chased
from one crises of money
to another.

The Celtic Tiger died
or at least, is ailing beyond
vetinary aid.
I remember the days
when credit cards were all that stood
between the electricity company
and candlelight cold suppers.
We used to count it a blessing
when there was extra.
Not extra in particular
just any margin between us
and the cold.

What will they do?
little cubs, mewling blind,
like headless chickens still running
from Venu to Brown Thomas
not yet aware that they're out of fuel
- Ah is it schadenfreude? but I confess
I want to see them, creditless
in the city. I want to see them walk,
think twice before wasting;
realize in a disposable society
they are disposed of most easily of all.

If we are lucky,
lack of money, lack of choice
fear and the opening of chasms
giddy depths visible for once
beneath well shod feet,
might breed
compassion; might shake
loose our comfortable
might feed something
unnourished by wealth.

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne



Ancestral Gael said...

I have to admit to watching with fascination the reaction of the younger generation when faced with the fact that "buy now, pay later" is gone for good and you need to start saving and working for whatever they need.

About time for a change.

Darragh said...

Hi Geraldine, I'm a first time visitor and reader but am very impressed with the poem. I know what you mean by getting back to those times and share your hope that we may find something similar to or better than what you describe.