travel

In search of lost time

I’m sitting on Bute street
In my head the French bookshop
And French bakery Bonne Bouche
Are still here, smelling of books and
Bread, livres et pain

I’m still sitting on Bute street
I open my eyes, I can smell Mama
Pho and it doesn’t go with my
£pp3.50 flat white

I’m looking at a shop called Blanc
With towels and a sign ‘Fashion doesnt
Have to Cost the Earth’ instead of
Books in French

Now I know how old women feel
The ones who talked about the
Old days as if they were better
Now they’re gone

I will not come here again to
Look for the past, I will not
Find it, I will go somewhere
Else to remember.

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)

Londoner in New York

Too tired and bleary eyed to write
Prose, hears my ears my beatnick
Cray kick of a poem written here
In Lincoln’s Inn about Lincoln’s over where
Where I was 10 hours ago, in the
Village, the Greenwich Village,  under
Another sun, spiked with different
Blossom, buzzed with New York
Chatters, oldish dames:

“I need a man, not a wimp, I told
Him straight.” Hair fuzzed with
20 years or more of dye, the cheaper
Kind. They look at me, I am not
From here, but then who is? A
Chinese man who could be
Mad takes his place on the
Next bench and sits squarely
Facing me and looks straight into
My face.

 

I feel no threat and
Accept that this is part of what
I expect from  park life’s big apples
And feel a little disappointed when
He takes out his newspaper and holds it

Two inches from his face, short sighted and sane
The dames on the opposite bench continue and their
Chat becomes background, like the
Shriller chirps of the spring birds
Amongst the cuddly coos of pigeons,
The bill I hear now is from an older broad:

Fifty, with shortish darkish ash
Hair, glasses, comfy grey trousers, fishnet
Socks catching bulging ankles sitting snug
In red sneakers, she’s curled up on
Her newspaper, oozing appreciation of the day

Never had looks, never needed them, fashion her own hip.
She puts down her reading and is lively with the young petitioners who’re
Taking their blue Hillary Ts round the park, she’s not
Pro, can’t make out why, can’t hear fom here,
And the scene changes to a little Ray-banned man
Wearing the same leather jacket he wore in his 20s, strolling along with a
Sloppy slice of Joe’s fresh mozzarella, nothing better can be found
Or should be, this is what his Sunday is all about, he may have a
Family, but they’re not about, he may not have a job or he may be Al Pacino
Who cares, we’re all here in the park, come what may, it’s New York and
What’s more, it’s Spring.

Highs of low-rise Copenhagen

A daisy on a cocktail.
A lively day – time candle.

A rainy splash of chocolate.

A bread stack deep as
A page of princess and her pea.

A  chair you fold like
A viking at lunchtime for

Happy meat and hotter apple.

image

April Sun in Scotland

Light everywhere, swimming in the brooks,
Springing off each root and mound of moss.

Then underneath the light, the quiet heat
Softly prizes lamb-pink blossoms out of blue.

Dutch red light dolls

The one in the first box is
Perched on the wipeable faux
Leather stool, tweeting boredom.

In the next box the stool’s empty.
At the back we can all see his tartan scarf and thick grey coat against her thin
Radiator.  

He looks up, relieved
That she’s drawing
The curtain.

image

Herded to a Tannery in Marrakech

Bunches of mint
Sink the stink

He pokes us through
Dung and blood

To hanging skins
Drenched in dye  

We pay him to
Hide that smell

In a cool blue
Leather bag.

My first taste of Africa, starting at the tip.

(more…)

On Holiday

The runway brings wonder,
Breathing its strange breath,
Promising nourishment like
The heave of swollen teats.  

In the the car on the wrong
Side, we can’t read the signs, passing fast
The radio means nothing, gushing
Loud then soft, like the sea.  

In the old town, new to us, the shops
Feature treats. We eat as much as we can,
Looked on by History, never stopping to
Look up at her stories,  

Soon we will be going back, 4
More days of unforecast choices before
We lift off and die and memories cake us in
Nostalgia until we are born again.    

The world is so loud at night

I hear Morocco pulsing

In my feet and Hong Kong

Twinkling in my throat

 

Montserratian and Barbadian lapping

Ears over to New Orleans,

Rolling down to Acapulco

 

Further down Columbian greens

That heard my father’s

First word to the world

 

Now I’m flying high above

The deep giant squids and

Corals, fighting and fading into blue

 

Back to Europe, Corfu

Familiar pieces of the jig saw puzzle

Curling at the edges, many missing

 

Do of it what can be done

With what is left, before

Some breeze, dog or toddler gusts it apart, unthinking.