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TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY POETRY The Big Breakdown by Francis Coombes

When after several weeks everything had stopped
all around the Earth
suddenly it appeared clearly
the sky could be blue
lives matter more than money
and among all the commodities we produce
some are useless
and for the necessary ones
two or three hours’ work a day is enough
and we’d better give
everyone what’s necessary to live
and take care of what’s actually important:
love, children, life, poetry…

When everything had stopped
during several weeks
it became clear that all around the Earth
there was but one sea
one atmosphere
one mankind.

Francis Combes is a French poet, novelist and translator. He runs the radical publishing co-operative Le Temps des Cerises and was for many years responsible for putting poems on the Paris Metro. 21st-Century Poetry is edited by Andy Croft, email



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