And thegirls are still smoking

I wrote this in early 2009. I was driving over London Bridge on my way to Borough Market. The financial world was dancing on its head. The Borough Market management seemed to be living on a different planet from normal mortals and the future looked very uncertain indeed.

The sun was shining brightly and as my car crawled through the traffic I saw a group of striking women standing on the edge of the bridge holding and waving enormous flags on great high poles. I can’t remember what they were promoting, but it made a stunning spectacle.

White flags flutter on London Bridge

Leaden-footed folk glumly walk,

run or drag themselves from train to work.

Familiar faces from another time

now bent and creased with lines.

And the girls are still smoking


Trapped prisoners in an open jail

so many doomed to fail.

Can’t understand where it all went wrong,

stuck on tracks that come and go,

fighting on, fast and slow.

And the girls are still smoking


Dreams taunt lost hopes,

crushed by pride and greed.

Trust is in short supply,

ruined lives asking why?

Blame, excuses, lies.

And the girls are still smoking


Cameras film our every move

as money rolls by on frozen wheels.

Cash falls in showers but never lands,

billions in empty boxes on display.

Cars stand silent, unwanted badges of today’s history.

And still the girls are smoking


Why do the white flags fly?

Held aloft by smiling beauties

they fly for victory.

They fly for you and me

they fly for surrender

And still the girls are smoking

Jan McCourt Northfield March 2009


Author: janmccourt

Farmer, owner of Northfield Farm known for his & its pioneering role as a champion of local food, rare breeds, Borough & Broadway Markets.

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