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The Edmonton Rubbish Incinerator is for Lovers

By: Michael Brett

The Poem

The Incinerator sees all, has Cerberus cameras of a million eyes,
But is more like someone courted, someone loved.

It throbs on the horizon, watching with delight, through all its cameras,
The million trucks, turning and returning, filled with newspapers
And packets, all filled with the million kisses the burners crave:
The discarded presents from discarded lovers;
The dumped remains of expensive meals and nights out and old shows;
Torn up airline tickets, old magazines and pictures.

The Edmonton Incinerator is for lovers. Who can doubt it?
Who can doubt the power of love to transform everything?
To make heat and light of everything?

As an angel, at the eternal gates, decides who is elect and who is damned;
As a jeweller considers a ring in silence over a glass cabinet,
The Incinerator leans over the endless lines of trucks, deciding
What is base metal and what is gold.

Its smoke uncoils the complexity of chemistry, physics and destruction.

The toxic and the damned wear crowns of flames upon the chimneys;
The clocks can stop, the year can change,
But rubbish is eternal.

The bins that are emptied across town,
Are like my endless thoughts of you.
They are as eternal as the blueness of the coolant in your car;
The crisp packets on the pavement;

Are as eternal as the small persistent flame, that hovers on the top of north east London,
Like a rising star, a stock tip, a clever joke you haven’t heard.

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