Here's a wee poem I wrote about our beautiful city, London awhile back. It seemed fitting to share now, given the sad news of attacks in London
I walk through another leased-up street,
And see in every face I meet*
The glimmer of today borrowed from tomorrow.
From the Oligarch owned,
Where the tanned and toned
Step out of flash cars
Into luxury homes.
To the council estates
Where the tangled fates
Of youthful faces’
Strike me down to the bone.
Colourful maps of tube lines exploding,
In Parliaments walls; parties imploding.
We absorb their smoke and mirror chat,
While chewing up the morning fat.
Then ‘Tag it up on Fry-Up Police’,
‘They’ll coat us off, they’re a score a piece!’
Next, we’ll head down to London Fields,
‘They’re all hipsters there, rock your Ray Ban shields’
‘Ya know what, we dress pretty much the same.’
‘N’ah mate, I’m not ‘aving that, what is your game?’
And there’s always a mate playing a gig,
‘I’ll stick you on the guestlist, it’s gonna be big.’
‘But it’s down in Brixton, that’s a mission from here.’
‘Hop in an uber, I’ll get you a beer.’
In Hyde Park, listening out for the birds,
Somedays it’s like they’re singing the wrong words.
Or down in Finsbury Park’s backstreets,
Where even the old, tired concrete
Claims chemistry with the stars,
Old boys sat in dodgy bars.
It could be the Greenwich Observatory,
They all have the same meaning to me.
From the try-hard, lived-hard, loved-hard faces,
To the beer stained, hard-rained, work-strained graces,
And the cream-tea, tai-chi, yoga places.
These streets where we fell in love for the first time,
These streets where we claimed injustice was crime.
These streets where our hearts were vacuum packed,
These streets where we made Utopian pacts.
These streets were our playground and love-nest,
These streets where we felt our dream-fueled zest
Slip out of yesterday's bloom,
All those tomorrows and infinite room
To grow into.
Here I stand, panda-eyed and neon loved-up,
Here I wonder at times I’ve almost given up,
And questioned if this place was meant for me.
When our hearts are the beat of this city.
*’I walk through another leased-up street, And see in every face I meet’ is a modern interpretation of Lines 1 and 3 of Verse 1 of London by William Blake. ‘I wander thro' each charter'd street’ and ‘And mark in every face I meet’