Underfoot Poetry

Bermondsey Spaces

By the corner forecourt of the Shell station
the man eating ribs from a paper bag
lets a crutch dangle on one elbow,
as he picks his way through want
and circumstance, under the gloaming,
the overpass, beyond the river’s abstract mass.

A light like fine quartz inside concrete
ghosts our day. Low rise houses
shelter amongst apartment blocks
hunkering from the bomb blasts
which preserved them –Bang!–
like a camera flash. Here’s your landscape.

Late spring but winter has returned,
freakish and grey, an old friend talking
about jobs and money, a scavenge for work.
Boys aim bikes down pavements
with thin-eyed accuracy. Or else they strut
hands pushed into undershorts

or they walk, shout and fumble
eat sweets and pledge their eternities
to the craziest of quests. Two young girls
play in the dust blown across plane trees
and scrambled time, the pollen filaments
mixed with…

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