‘Walls’ by Randall Stephen Hall

Boy 9 woof b Boy 4

Walls. 18.11.14

By Randall Stephen Hall.



From platform four at Central.

Central Station, Belfast.

I stood and waited for the train

That would take me to Whitehead.


An Ceann Bán.


Not so long ago I would stand

And wait for the same train.

But something had changed.

The view.


For once, on any cold, windy day.

Sunny, wet or dry day.

My view was unimpeded.

To the broad, broad way.

The imperfect picture postcard

Of “the Markets”.


Little houses with slogans.

Loitering, hangin’ on, hangin’ out, chillin’.

Cars, coming and going, the smell of grillin’

Trees, grass growing, coloured shapes, bags of shopping.

Children playing, moving, hopping, living.


But now, the people, who make these decisions

Had built an enormous wall.

A wall in cinemascope.

As tall, as tall could be.

A broad wall of Babel, like a layered cake.

With a fence on top

To stop what?


I thought . . .


I reckoned the fence must be there

To keep the birds out.

Who didn’t have tickets.

Daily, weekly or monthly.


I turned away from the wall.

The wall that blocked my view of it all.

Out to humanity.

To the trees and the houses of the Lagan.


Were those more acceptable than the Markets?


An architect’s impression

Realised in 3D.


I thought . . .


Well . . .

At least you know where you are

With a wall you can see.

It’s the walls you can’t see

That be-devil me.


For I would take a hammer to them all

If only I could see them.




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