By the Thames

entry picture

It’s the final burial ground –

the place where they go to die;

lapping dirt-brown waves;

tourist couples bidding goodbye.

Ships slicing through soundlessly,

as smog adorns the sky.

A pigeon hobbles by on its stump,

while a gull lets out a mournful cry;

beside benches, an old man holds out his cup;

on the cobblestones stands a solitary bride.

A homeless girl leans against a pockmarked wall

as suits hurry past without turning an eye.

Buses honk, young people run –

how utterly meaningless is a green light.

No time for stopping, nor

a place for a man to call ‘mine’.

Bricks by old hands and shiny panels by new,

but all understood, understand the bite.

Some barely have a choice to make;

but some once came for a new life.

And here is where their dreams go to drown.

They had hoped in vain for a lie.

It’s always been a city where giants grow

and upon weaklings’ corpses dine.

She has always reinvented herself,

and yet, still, a sadder sight.

HomelessnessinequalityLondonmodern lifesuicide

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Comments

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M.C. Newberry

Wed 30th Mar 2016 15:35

London has long been the home of dreams - and the place
of nightmares for the unprepared.
I like these lines. They have a ring of recognition for me
from my many miles of peramulation during a career that
took me on to its streets...both beside and beyond the Thames 24/7 over three decades...East End and West End.

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