Goodbye London



Goodbye London my love my sore feet
my hot afternoons and solitary mornings
wandering around Liverpool Street Station
those cobbled lanes spilling views towards the river
the Shard teasing veils of cloud
the looming Gherkin planting its reptilian feet
among the open-shirted city suits with pints in their hands
the reverent bustle and hush at Leadenhall market
of a city seamlessly both modern and ancient

Goodbye London my crazy lost and tragic lover
you took it all too far we never knew your highflown days
were the zenith of a Babylon, a Babel, presaging
an ignominious end nosedive coked-up
voting for your own destruction stoned
on the drug of Xenophobia

Goodbye London
our relationship now slated for demolition
once seemed always under construction
the Walkie-Talkie, the Cheesegrater
the Thames glittering under London Bridge
as I made my way to Borough Market
or to Spitalfields, the dark dreams
of Hawksmoor’s churches
and Kentish Town, Camden Locks
Regents Canal worming its way past
sober white houses of Primrose Hill
or Greenwich Park the pigeons and squirrels
eating from our hands as statues
London my immortal friend
how to forget this or ever leave it?

Goodbye London your smiling streets
the smell and taste of your dust-blonde hair
blinding my eyes, falling across my haversacked shoulders
goodbye the fabric of seats in the Stansted Express
leafy gardens of Hampstead and Shoreditch
the endless London brick the shadows of plane trees

Goodbye London fortune and prosperity
you turned your back first
sadness in our farewell kisses our thousand meetings
our hits and misses farewell cosmopolitan
metropolitan glamour excitement culture
for now the last bell has tolled at the Stock Exchange
and your long decline has at last begun
I see like a melancholy premonition
how you will retract in to yourself increasingly
become old and grey and frail and afraid before your time
your tall glass towers all turned to ivory and vacant
as brittle monuments to hubris and folly

Beloved London farewell remember
how I never left you
never stopped loving you
before you turned away and your face
became a blur of passing subway windows
a glint of light, a glimpse of height reflected
a broken dream of greatness.

This entry was posted in Archeology, Architecture, Art, History, Photography, Poetry, Psychology, Travel, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

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