My walk to work yesterday (captured for National Poetry Day)
From high above the city
(woke before dawn in darkness
Listening to the fading quiet –
A thin sliver of the night
heralded by wandering revellers
wending their way home
in dwindling numbers.
Rounded by the returning rumble
bins and the yawning of the crane
Sweeping smooth like a Hopkins skate
across a gaping hole-
Hidden from pedestrian eyes,
We see it though,
who live as the crow flies.)
Descent and into the flow,
down towards the stream
down Drury Lane past
the temple of the Great Architect –
not left to where William and Mary
tended the rose,
issued coins to aid the progress of the Rake.
No – to the Arc of the Aldwych,
with its chunky red necklace of buses,
sleek and new, sci-fi smooth,
going nowhere faster than you.
Thoughts trickle in here
What would it be like to do this every day?
Stop for coffee and watch the fray, the freyed and fraid.
Black beetle cabs scuttle and shine,
unburden themselves of their oblivious load –
Kerb to foyer past doorman and shining brass plaques.
Eyes high, coat over arm, briefcase, phone.
Places to go, people to see,
Except him. The man on the pavement
to the left of the $door.
The one they ignore
In their haste and importance.
The one who has seen
who has been
so much more
than they, than they know
but suffers now so
Gets no buttons and bows
no help this hero.
Left from the strand and on to the
wide open bridge.
Wide and wild, the wind over water
hair whipping the breeze
watching the churn and the eddies below
brown river of stories.
If I jumped here I see the strong arms
that would pull me down
my lungs would silt,
fill with mud, cool my blood
and still my restless dreams.
Where would we settle, come to land?
Be picked clean by cockney seagulls
or carried off past the barriers to sea.
Whitstable oysters come feed on me.
And now I meet my waterloo and hold.
Back into the belly of the beast.
A day begun, my captor resumes his feast.