Leaving London


Leaving London


At my time of departure,

London is suitably grey,

is stifling a smile;

beneath the scribbled-on

plaster casts of

East End developments,

poorly set,

the broken bones remain unmended.

But soon these six snooty carriages

will have left such triviality behind;

the Boat Train makes no calls

in its hour of

Harwich-bound semi-sprint.

Those streaks of subdued colour

were – I believe – the English countryside;

our fruity sea air smells of men

painting ships.

Somewhere out at sea the sun is shining. Now,

what was the name

of that city?


First published in Envoi, 1997