Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Catwalking in Catastrophe

She wore a borrowed dress
Nor did her crown belong to her
Still, she looked beautiful
Stalking between vassal ranks
Of fawning, enchanted courtiers
Breathing a miasma of greed, lust, envy…
She spurned them all
At once a predator and a prey
Prowling zombie-eyed
Face a corpse-like mask,
Lips swollen as if gorged with blood…
Regal she turned, oblivious of her disciples,
Down the wolf-whistle, sighing walk
Back to the paint, powder and chaos
Of the real world…
Shedding her borrowed finery
Which would be catalogued and copied
To be sold for a pittance
In High-Street temples of commerce…
Laden with bags with escutcheons
Much more familiar…much more affordable
Than this unique Dolce-Gabbana creation
A bargain at a mere £32,000!
I doubt if the Saturday night revellers
Preening in their day’s purchases
Would give a moment’s thought to…
The price of the original…nor…
The nine hundred souls crushed under concrete
Erected carelessly by inefficiency and greed
Working fourteen hours for coppers
Making cheap copies of such ‘borrowed’ dresses
Nor of the starving Syrian child
Staring at us in fear and bewilderment
Sharing the page with this icon of consumerism.

© Peter Flint

Refugees Fleeing Syria are ‘Mostly Kids’
Woman rescued after 17 days in Bangladesh rubble
$32,000 Dolce & Gabbana Dress

The poem arose out of the juxtaposition of a Dolce-Gabbana dress which sold for $32,000 with the image of a starving Syrian child.  In the same newspaper it was reported that the death toll in the collapse of a clothing factory in Pakistan had risen to five hundred and that the designer had been arrested and charged.  He had allegedly added several floors to the original plan at the owner’s request.