TOUR GUIDES (Granada Studios 1989)

by Donal Thompson


We do this for money.

This cheap lie is a pool,

A source of fuel.

Something to throw at the rent man.

Oases gather strange bed fellows.

Dancers, dunces and brides-to-be.

Centripetal from the compass' heart we'd fly

If this grand nothing giving ran dry.

Professionally un-American

We sleep talk hollow tours.

Break thirsty kids

If the PR is anything to go by.

Gobi throated dole avoiders more like.

A heart attack may touch us.

Children no longer do

And the old are christened ‘crumblies'

Derided for being parched of youth

And cynicism.

This lay-by, This sham

Is showered off nightly and at weekends

With galleries, concerts and things

We need to call ‘valuable'.

Our hopes hang on pin money.

Hamish wants to bury the mortgage,

Claire wants to be model

Brian, who once believed all this

Wants out.

We take tours bored.

Grit our toothy smiles, Tourism's draculas,

Leeching a corporate corpse

With uniform numbness.

We do this for money.