Cristo Redentor
for Hugo

cristo redentor
Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro

The vultures have this view all day for free:
even the slums look good from such a height,
sharing the brutal, unforgiving light
which bounces off the gas-concealing sea.

A brave new world it must have seemed to be
to those who crushed the natives, and whose bright
future is today’s mass tourist site.
They shipped in slaves who made them wealthy, free . . .

But then, why laugh at them for being as blind
as the rest of us? Whoever expects to find
lands innocent but not completely backwards

had better have a different contract, signed
by this soapstone giant. My advice? Just keep in mind –

where would any of us be without our double standards . . . ?

Tom Vaughan

If you have any thoughts on this poem, Tom Vaughan would be pleased to hear them.