I saw one of them getting off the number 3
outside Brixton Town Hall this morning.
He must’ve been in the last five years of his working life,
but he still had a full head of hair
and he wasn’t afraid to use it.
Same cut he must’ve had since way back
when his best mate pulled hot black vinyl
from a crisp white sleeve, snarling
you aint heard nothin’ yet
with a newfound curl to his lip.
After that there came the hard blip
of the needle hitting the groove
and what happened next
was enough to send our boy home
to plunge his fingers into a tub of Brylcreem
and baptise himself
He kept on doing it
through strike and recession
through moon landings and flower power,
even as hair sprouted from his ears
and his abdomen echoed the Vegas years,
he kept on doing it because nothing else
had hit him so hard, searing his soul
and leaving him all shook up, uh-huh-huh.
Look out for them, they’re everywhere
standing out from the other fickle generations
like a well-pronounced ring on an oak tree’s trunk
signifying that in that particular year
conditions were suddenly extreme