Mile End

In pre-fabs, Nissen Huts and terraced slums,

Exhausted marriages plodded along.

Intrigues of passion would sometimes burst forth,

Though not with the new-wave cool of the North.


‘I don’t understand what she sees in him;

He couldn’t get the padlock off his bike.’

Bomb damage gnawed into the local pubs

And trysts took place behind working men’s clubs.


Couples stole kisses on paths by the Thames;

On big match days, fans would dangle from rooves

Of grimy high-rises bereft of love

And cheer on the Hammers from up above.


District and Central lines met at Mile End,

With city employees sweating inside.

Each day they walked from the Tower to Bank,

Where amorous intentions mostly sank.

london history

◄ Ukraine poetry book published

'Well, you know' ►


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Stephen Gospage

Fri 9th Dec 2022 07:35

That's an excellent point, Ray. It's true that a safe distance in terms of time and space makes what one is describing seem more interesting. There but for the grace of God - I feel that every day!

And thanks once again to all the likers.

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Thu 8th Dec 2022 20:01

My praise for your excellent poem would be to observe how that the more dire a subject and well described it is the more uplifting it can be, by sheer ability transporting us into a zone of there but for the grace of God go I ; one reason could be that you and me revel in the less than salubrious and consequently fascinating interplay of the charmless areas we have experienced!! I have certain memories of 70s Walthamstow, pre gentrification.


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Stephen Gospage

Thu 8th Dec 2022 17:36

Thanks, John. I probably do, although a damp morning at Bank underground is a tough test. Or perhaps not....all that proximity in crowded trains.

And thanks to everyone liked this.

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John Coopey

Wed 7th Dec 2022 21:48

Marvelous snapshots of your yesteryears, Stephen. But I think you underestimate the resilience of amorous intentions.

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Stephen Gospage

Mon 5th Dec 2022 16:34

Thank you, Leon. Yes, I did and enjoyed it, like many films of the British new wave. Apart from Tom, a sterling cast including a young James Bolam, a slightly bewildered John Thaw and Arthur 'In the new plarstic bottle' Mullard.

And thanks as ever to Frederick, Rose, Keith, Jennifer, Uilleam, Rudyard, K Lynn and Bethany for your support.

<Deleted User> (34685)

Mon 5th Dec 2022 16:28

oh yes Stephen I remember those prefab quick fixes to the war damaged problem. Did you ever see Tom Courtney in
' Loneliness of the long distance runner ' ( fab film ) portraying prefab life?
I could watch that film and any others of his until I wore my eyes out, such a great actor, the likes of which are rarely seen nowadays-yep! very good poem


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Stephen Gospage

Sun 4th Dec 2022 16:53

Thank you, John.I do appreciate your praise for this poem. It is based on (perhaps half-remembered) experiences of younger days, although the fans dangling from tower blocks is completely authentic (from an FA cup replay against Hereford United in 1972).

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John Botterill

Sun 4th Dec 2022 16:45

Fabulous poem. Captivating and atmospheric. I love the falling cadance and the fading dreams of the last line. Bravo! 💪😎

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