For National Poetry Day

3rd October 2013

One of my own (indulgent I know!)


It is still…

London is not a place
It’s a name

There are so many people
So many beggars, so many thieves
So many parks and so many trees
And so little chance of starting over again
With the cars in the fast lane
And the tramps in the rain.
There are screams in the palace
There are spies in the Mall
There are red men in bearskins
And bears in the pit
With the bulls and the stags
And the MPs in drag
And a host of informative salesmen
In fast-talking suits.
There’s a wind underground
As the hissing doors shut
And an invasion of squirrels
In St John’s Wood.
There’s a man in the tower
Who’s shouting out

A mother in Epping who’s addicted to crack
And a father in Lambeth who’s patience has snapped.
Battered baby, blue and brown,
London Bridge is falling down.

I guess it will always be the same
Selling crap on Petticoat Lane
With Simon and Garfunkel on the Northern Line
And drunken old woman
Beating out time
On a bag from Sainsbury’s, stretched and worn.
It contains her possessions
Her memories, her friends,
Her past and her present are kept safe within
Nestled between the vodka and gin:
A photo, a letter, a wedding ring.

(c) Andy Walsh 2001



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