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Postcard from Hoxton

These money people float
Their money makes them
So light

Their soles are not touching
Anything, they live like
Angels

No memories staring back
From the streets they pass,
The ex-

Council blocks they buy
When they come down from
Heaven.

But they never land, they
Glide an inch above real
Living

You can still hear the mortals
From time to time, they
Break out

With feet that know the old
Streets, feet that can’t float like
Angels.

(Written somewhere between Shoreditch and Hoxton)

Remembrance

Death and life can float up
In a second or less and fill the
Rest of Time. Rest on Time

Therefore, let hate weight
Nothing and noone, drifting off
On a tide of Peace.

New Year’s Eve, now and then

Drinking sweet

Liquor rum

In my brain

Thinking of

Cuba and you,

Together. Why,

When you are

Here and now

And that was

There and then,

But somehow

Intertwined round

The same bend

Of year, this

February time

That should be

Winter and isn’t

Spring. This

Fuzzy hiatus

Before the year

Begins in earnest.

The Chinese got it

Right, ours was premature,

Christmas merriment

Still mulling

Recognition through

Old Lang Sine,

Sung too soon.

Febbraio en Cuba,

February in London;

Two thousand and nine,

Two thousand and ten.

Alone abroad,

At home, with men,

With you, maybe.

More at sea than

When the Malecon wall

Fenced me off from

Them, males with

Bright, tall sails

Bobbing, skidding, winking

Through the sun-hot sheen.

Now the year’s

Stacked up its freight.

Destined where?

No ship’s docked

Yet, while me,

A girl, a rum girl,

Waits.

Neanderthal Hero

 

An inlet four foot wide

Was made inside

A cave,

Dug out from coal

Black granite,

Hard as hail

Stones against slate tile.

 

For days he carved

And Hacked, blush

Sweat it dripped

Between the cracks

And creatures

Of the floor:

Dull bats dislocated

And snakes woken ,

Sensing strangers.

 

Soft down the road

Came she, to see

What he had done

Where hewn, the

Niche that he

Had made-

No spade or

Trowel, bare handed

He’d shovelled

Out the nook

For her to use,

A perch rescue

From the snakes

Bats and cracks

With whom they shared the cave.

 

[July 31st 2009:]

A house on a London terrace

The house was built in 1864 or thereabouts

With bricks and mortar

In the usual way,

Set down on the street

‘Tween two just the

Same.

No, I lie. Next

Door was a shop,

Greyed out now, modern

Style, frosted windows, the works.

Behind doors to the house of

A family, bent by

Chance into odd-

Shaped rooms, tombs

For the spirits of eras

Passed, mingling now and

Then with the plates on

The rack or a glass in the

Cupboard, no harm meant.

After twenty five years

No surprise at a flying saucepan.

A family lived in the house,

Part of it, kin to it,

Whatever its freight.

Besides, after twenty five years, they

Had their own ghosts as guests,

Those former selves in former

Times living on,

Resonating in overlapping lines.

The cello practice, the barking

Dog, the sleeping dog,

The trampoline, the one that

Broke, the roller blades,

The skipping rope.

The time when budgies tweeted

In the kitchen

And Ma cooked at 6 for me

And 8 for him, again.

The time when garden’s shade

Was less and next door neighbour

Had a cat called…called….

Times gone but still present

In the ether, round the stairs, up the blocked chimney,

Or the skylight, then

Down, over mossy steps

And at the back door, again,

With a ratataptap, like a

Ghost..

No, it must be Jack

The new next door neighbour’s

Cat.

Published in Balladof Magazine, October 2009