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Mike Barlow


Pink Floyd, McCartney, Daltrey
thrashing their ghosts for charity.
And how we remember.
How the pledges pour in.

(how the ghosts inside us all
     tap their feet,
          click their bones)
Where do they go to,
the ghosts on the screen,
the famous, the famished,
the vanquished, the vanished?

(ghosts like family, intimate
     and inescapable, everyone
             we've been or might have been)
Where do they go
the anonymous ghosts
in their makeshift camps,
their crammed unseaworthy boats?

(waving our souvenir tickets,
     waving our arms
           slightly out of time)

Where does it go, the glitter,
the glamour, the jumping jack
flash of goodwill, the scaffolded stage,
the sea of lit faces, the patter?

(getting the song's off-by-heart words  
       wrong but undeterred,
              in our heads and out of them)

Where do they go, the litter, the flies,
the stick-thin limbs, the queues
in a drought for water? Where does it go,
the news-crew's worn-through footage?

Mike Barlow