London Poems - Poems For London

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  • 37.
    0205 Front porch days

    London, six o'clock in June, two-o-o-five:

    These streets were built in nineteen-five or thereabouts
    in unimaginative grid, on London clay and previous watercress beds
    by builders and those, quote, 'developers',
    whose sudden stroke of luck was that the Tube line was diverted
    and foreshortened, now to pass this way all overground;
    it took a century, and climate change, to prove
    that cracked-out summer clay and winter watercourse,
    and building onto earth, are not the best foundation...
    but these terraces of modest houses
    (alternate houses gabled, bayed, to suggest they're twice the size)
    have stood the test of time, when, often, underpinned;
    intended for the aspirational working-class,
    they've now become, these last few years,
    'first homes' for the equally aspirational middle-class;
    tonight the streets are nose-to-tail with silent, gleaming
    four-wheelers looking down their grilles
    at nifty runabouts - some, I regret to say,
    parked where suburban front-gardens once declared respectability
    in token concrete-and-flower three metres square of space
    as subtly expressive in miniature
    as any grandly-vista-ed and avenued ducal drive.

    All is very quiet at this hour; doors firmly closed;
    front gardens are for show just like front parlours were.
    Across the road, for all I know,
    (for this is London; one does not often chum across the street)
    our neighbours may live sunburned Southern lives
    in long back gardens which face West (ours, East and overshadowed) :
    while on this side, just one front door is out of line:
    like some beached whale (or dolphin sounds more cute)
    providing a double-take but just too late for passing pedestrians,
    I sit at open door with paperback, in jasmine heaven,
    which may last - three weeks? but which in this first year of flower,
    is both a song of praise and Southern holiday;
    it's lost its first exhilaration, but acquired
    a subtle maturity so that, one lungful gloried in,
    one's ready straightway for yet more perfection;
    a week or so, and its poignant sharp-sour scent
    will bring back memories of summer's ripe Venetian back-canals.

    This new-found gazebo, to you in Southern climes
    will be just commonplace - as afternoon front porch,
    or sociable evening verandah or leisured stoep,
    where West Indians, for instance, wait to pass the time of day
    with passing neighbours; for me, exotic new delight;
    so that I'm quietly proud when the Trinidadians from two doors away
    take my presence, sitting there, as invitation to pause there at my gate
    and pass the time of day.

    On one side of the door, vermilion geraniums
    survived a mildish winter; their colour in this evening sun
    incredible: blazing colour from one petal, sun-glowed in another;
    can vermilion really be, as reason and art-teachers say,
    a mixture of yellow in with red? Not here, today...and so, itself,
    that you can feel it hit the retina and demand
    more than the physics of the eye can stand....
    and then, the other side, the pink geranium
    sings quite a different song - one hears, but cannot say
    just where the difference lies in colour's music scale.

    Metaphysics, for three thousand years or more
    in East and West, has held in high debate
    whether what, like this, the senses' scene, provides
    may be direct connection with what's called divine;
    or whether this must be transcended in some mindful way.
    The answer, here, today, for me is in
    one glimpse of sunlight through geranium. read more »

  • 38.
    Inasmuch As Ye Did It Not . . .

    If Jesus came to London,
    Came to London to-day,
    He would not go to the West End,
    He would come down our way; read more »

  • 39.
    The Christmas Goose

    Mr. Smiggs was a gentleman,
    And he lived in London town;
    His wife she was a good kind soul,
    And seldom known to frown. read more »

  • 40.

    Once I saw a black & white photo
    taken by a Japanese tourist
    of London schoolboys
    walking briskly to grammar school. read more »

  • 41.
    William Blake

    He came to the desert of London town
    Gray miles long;
    He wandered up and he wandered down,
    Singing a quiet song. read more »

  • 42.
    Lights Out

    Darkness expectant, discreet
    Only a lamp here and there,
    Gloom in the clattering street,
    Stygian black in the square; read more »

  • 43.
    A Cook

    They had a cook with them who stood alone For boiling chicken with a marrow-bone, Sharp flavouring powder and a spice for savour. He could disting ... read more »

  • 44.
    Thought for Today

    Today's Marathon Day here in London.
    An unpleasant image strikes me:
    suppose the journey to the Pearly Gates
    looks just like the TV coverage of the marathon? read more »

  • 45.
    Ballade Of Cleopatra's Needle

    Ye giant shades of RA and TUM,
    Ye ghosts of gods Egyptian,
    If murmurs of our planet come
    To exiles in the precincts wan read more »

  • 46.
    In The Meadows At Mantua

    But to have lain upon the grass
    One perfect day, one perfect hour,
    Beholding all things mortal pass
    Into the quiet of green grass; read more »

  • 47.
    Peter the Wag

    From his obscure retreat:
    He was a merry genial wag,
    Who loved a mad conceit. read more »

  • 48.
    (M - Baba Amte - 1994) The Sight of Christ

    A son of India
    Rose from the breast of east
    Traveled west
    Breathed the London air read more »

New London Poems

  1. Return home safely isn't nontrivial, Mark Heathcote
  2. Yet, She Is Still In His Mind, Toshie Nohara
  3. I Am A Professor, A Univeristy Professor.., Bijay Kant Dubey
  4. London Fog, Joseph Narusiewicz
  5. In a Restaurant, 1917, Eleanour Norton
  6. Haiku... Hey Kew, Ken e Hall
  7. Nonsense Droppings, Radhamani Sarma
  8. Farewell to London Bridge, May Doyle
  9. Breathing Out, Sadiqullah Khan
  10. London Baby, Moses Samandar
  11. London Bridge, Edwina Reizer
  12. The most beautiful city London is the ca.., Mazid S Kazi , INDIA
  13. London School Of Economics (Aka L.S.E), Nicolas GRENIER
  14. This Is London, Alexander Hayden James Smith
  15. London Bridge, Neela Nath
  16. Memories of London, Dennis Adonis
  17. City Haiku, Ell Ell
  18. LONDON, Nicolas GRENIER
  19. Festival Haiku - London Olympics 2012, john tiong chunghoo
  20. LONDON CALLED, Robinson Jonathan Dare
  21. The Themes, William Cheesman
  22. Zig-Zag on a London Train, Najib Altawell
  23. Lines on A.B, James McIntyre
  24. Londonderry, Saiom Shriver
  25. Haiku # 27, Luis Estable
  26. First Encounter - Mustafa Noor (Malaysia), john tiong chunghoo
  27. The Train To Waterloo, Angela Wybrow
  28. London, Affan Chowdhury
  29. London Streets, Aparna Chatterjee
  30. Goodbye London, Abayomi Habib
  31. London, Angela Wybrow
  32. London, Catman Cohen
  33. London Riot Haiku, john tiong chunghoo
  34. Britanica Hymn Edited, Aldo Kraas
  35. Britanica Hymn Revised, Aldo Kraas
  36. Lights Out, Jessie Pope
  38. J'adore the underground, Lucia Domingos Fula
  39. Plane Blanket Haiku, C Richard Miles
  40. Tranquil hamlet, NAYYAR SHABBIR AHMAD
  41. The Oldest Thing In London, Cicely Fox Smith
  42. London Pool, Cicely Fox Smith
  43. By The Old Pagoda Anchorage [1926], Cicely Fox Smith
  44. By The Old Pagoda Anchorage [1924], Cicely Fox Smith
  45. london, seamus j carroll
  46. Ballade Of Cleopatra's Needle, Andrew Lang
  47. London, Francis William Lauderdale A ..
  48. For Selma, Langston Hughes
  49. LONDON FIELDS SONG, Aldo Kraas
  51. Sir Christopher Wren 1632-1723, Joyce Hemsley
  52. THe Unification of London and France, Harlan Lovestone
  53. West London GIRL, Holda Felix
  55. Don't stand aloof, Enitan Onikoyi
  56. Michael Jackson Tribute Haiku, john tiong chunghoo
  57. London city you claims your right, see fee lee
  58. Constable, Jason Palmer
  59. Travel Haiku - Brixton South West London, john tiong chunghoo
  60. IN LONDON, Vida Nenadic
  61. Hope Hanging On At Heathrow, C Richard Miles
  62. HE WANTS TO GO TO LONDON, TOO, Vida Nenadic
  63. Sustenance, Melanie Walendowsky Baker
  64. mate-man, mate-woman, gershon hepner
  65. My beautiful Lady, Framarz Bagheri
  66. London, Jim McDonald
  67. city on the sea? ? WAEL MOREICHEH, WAEL MOREICHEH
  68. The is a nonce in the village, James Clive
  69. Travel Haiku - London's Marylebone, john tiong chunghoo
  71. SCHOOLBOYS IN 1939, Michael Pruchnicki
  72. Technology, Chizom Okpara
  73. London Town, jor leou
  74. Photo of Schoolboys, Michael Pruchnicki
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