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

never overfull.


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.

🌷 (3)




Profile image


Tue 18th Jul 2017 15:25

Thanks Suki for your thoughts. Yes, i'm quite looking forward to a freezing of assets - not my own of course! The cat name was probably inspired by Gormenghast who knows.

Graham, yes I agree about the facelifts in London - gradually starved of character and the death of small business ; after all it was all an amalgamation of small villages at one time. I think the Black Friars would be well put out. I have some photos of my mum and dad courting on Epsom Downs! Thanks so much your comments are appreciated.

Eagle eye Col. Quite right sir about nametag! What have you been on recently? How about Gutentag the friendly German. Glad you liked the cat - I only put him in as a sort of adjunct to an otherwise bleak offering.

Love all round. Ray

Profile image

Colin Hill

Mon 17th Jul 2017 22:17

forget 3D and HD - we need Smellavision !!

*takes a deep breath*

I think 'nametag' is two words - I initially read it with three syllables as in some Eskimo name - Nametag the Seal Hunter perhaps 😉 Like Nanook of the North. Now there's a tale - Eskimos on the Thames building igloos during the next ice age - when the Gulf Stream has been shut down by a melting Arctic. We're all dooomed!

as Graham said - Good work!

and as Suki said - Screwforce the cat..Brilliant. In fact that verse is brill - 'his bowl in a caring foreman's corner' brought a tear to my eye. Honest guv.


Profile image

Graham Sherwood

Mon 17th Jul 2017 15:44

Great observational post Ray.

I returned to the Blackfriars area recently after an initial visit in 1970, what change! For a country boy like me (even though I live in the modern town of Milton Keynes) London is best viewed from afar! Epsom Downs is a good place.

Good work!

Profile image

suki spangles

Mon 17th Jul 2017 04:27

Hi Ray,

Screwforce the cat..Brilliant.

And the new riverside apartments, nice to look at, but cost a king's ransom, often have plaster board walls - and some house only ghosts, as they are often bought for their "value", and then left to "appreciate".

Anyway the dollar will crash at some point and we will have the reset of resets, and poor Nigel's stomach will probably develop more serious ulcers..


If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message