A London view

Emotion recollected in tranquillity

never did quite do it for me:

I see the river Thames,

I see the people flow,

all kinds and conditions,

in rain and sun and snow.


the Green man in Kingsbury,

a pub which abhors the National Front,

or, you may wander in Kew Gardens,

or, you may sometimes have a punt.

Westminster traitors to the north 88

Brixton dreads to the south,

red and gold and green teeth, polished in the mouth.

At Hyde Park listen to those fantatic-fantasists shout.

Black cabs own the streets of knowledge, even down in Soho,

where private spats in rented flats hardly acknowleged, you know.

The Four Skins

play the tavern, on the border of Southall and Hayes,

and the traffic's at a halt and we're living in a daze.

Another bloody suicide on the North Circular Road

and, still, nobody's helping the homeless  man searching for an abode.

An expert in geography.

routemastering around:

in Kilburn town they're up

in Maida Vale they're down.

In the Cricklewood tavern

on the colour TV

they're cheering the death of a British soldier

in 1973.

In St John’s Wood,

the staid placidity of money


for decade after decade.

At Lords the flunkey

opens the gate

to the hallowed turf

of Kensal Green


While in South Ken

the noveau riche

are doing it again.

The chimes of Big Ben

roll down the Thames to the sea

through the marshes of Essex

by-passing the famed Marshalsea.

All these external states:

dates, times, affairs,

were nothing to

the young Johnny Keats

medically trained

with the world at his feet,

on Hampstead Heath.

So soon to be dead

yet in his head:,

all the beauty

and all the truth

that ever was lost in a peasouper London fog

or, buried under snow,

Is still true, y'know.

London ringing out, clear as day

through times, through tears:

to cancel your  hopes

and scatter your fears.





◄ Near water

Interlude ►


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