I saw my hero broken,
unkempt cheeks holding a weary head,
his mind tortured,
a chronicle of despair.
For so many beautiful words –
I, swamped by a theatre crowd.
Laughing echoes from tall brick walls
standing along the south bank.
Cold march evening.
Lost in thoughts of make-believe,
imagination too dark a place to stay.
But in there my heroes age
in a succession of blown up,
grainy, black and white photographs.
Each step another decade,
another canyon of wrinkles.
Yet the laughter rings stronger
than any other sound,
grating harshly on my broken, ringing ears.
Sitting alone on a short brick wall,
turning away the begging homeless,
with tattered issue of Big Issue in his hands.
And still that bellowing laughter,
crashing around these peeling walls,
I watched my heroes die
in blank expressions on printed cardboard,
and the laughter continued to mock.
Who wants to be immortalised
in pictures that represent