Canary Wharf


Artificial light
Glittering goods
City folk
And ordinary bods
Expensive calories
And consumer excess
People walk at you
Through hunks of metal
Steel and glass
Artificial climate
Escalator rides
Look out the window
Drizzle outside
Holes in the ground
Building on every acre
A miracle of mammon
Flattening nature.

Every time I go to Canary Wharf I feel a strong sense of alienation. I had a meeting there today. I worked in Docklands when it was a building site, in the 1990s as Canary Wharf went up. On the face of it what’s not to like? Efficient high quality office and retail space on reclaimed land.

I can’t put my finger on it, but something feels wrong. It’s like a glossy ad or the guff you read in an in-flight magazine. Lifestyle, grooming, money, power and status and posh nosh. It lacks the class of New York or the crush of Hong Kong. A soulless place.

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