During the Three Random Word project I was given the words “screwdriver, tattoo, print” by Adele Wearing. I really liked the poem that I had written but when I came back to the poem when editing them a year or so later I decided that it wasn’t saying what I wanted. The edits are so extensive that rather than analysing them all I’m just going to put up the original poem here and then post the new version separately. So here is my original version of Abandoned.

A line of people walk next to each other
out of the station towards disaster.
Armed with the remnants of already looted stores,
they carry a hammer, file or screwdriver for
the few short blocks they walk,
the living and their machinery failing together.
Four tired men sit at the bar in a diner
across the street from a tattoo parlour,
of dried ink and forgotten customers
where the permanent no longer lasts.
Street signs faded and battered.
The only signs of new life are the
distressed missing-persons posters
stuck on street-lights and boarded up windows
that they had to print out, or give up.
A storm and fallout seen everywhere
except by the eyes of a vanished people.


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