THE NINE ELMS CAT
Stretched like a contented cat
Nine Elms Lane
from west to east, the Thames hard by,
from which savage cuts have made
a ditch at low tide to guide
flat bottomed barges weighed down
with black gold to feed the retorts
with their tongues of flame.
A mist meets each morning with a curse
of workers spilled out from buses and trams
knapsacks for the hard day ahead.
From the cobbles spring networks of support
piers, stanchions, sheds in brewery yards
sawtooth roofs are blind from the sun
then streaked from rain.
Sounds of the harder kind make protest
in a man's world - chains, drills,
the clanking of trucks, hard boots
on flags, gravity itself on trial and winning.
Screwforce the cat wanders with careful paws
to find amongst the smells of ache, sweat
and gas his bowl in a caring foreman's corner
The new riverside apartments
have rejuvenated the area
a unique and delightful view.
Nigel Foster with nametag, portfolio
and griping stomach scans the balcony
makes a mental note that his shoes
need a clean, but the man with an accent
doesn't seem to notice that
nor the rising smell in the loo.