By Green Park

Day-glo tourists and hoary men –
stiff in their dour ashen suits –
not much has changed
beyond Victoria’s cast arches –

still a Queen and commoners
standoff and watch each other
from behind quick net curtains
and wrought iron barriers

as black cabs and red buses
match those travellers’ hopes
of a London of old curiosities –
with a high price tag to boot

Grenadiers play at army games
but all I see is Spike’s Neddy –
unlike Freddy – parading in heat
under a bear weight of headgear

to guard sweet sperm of kings
in their capital residencies –
where penguin-suited servants
respond to royal commands

whilst we all grovel like a Goon
under that ongoing burden
of keeping up appearances
in our less sumptuous palaces

And my return journey home
through ticket-licking turnstiles –
out beyond a thousand kisses –
is to where Sussex wears green
quite well

Hampstead Heath

We scurried across NW3
but not the low-laid Heath
of bricked-ish village-ness
of idealised introversion –
with loquacious City views

No – We took the buff support
of metre-high teak bars
before the flow of beer taps –
erect like those glass towers
stood in that visible rotten mile

We ripped at the greenery
of London’s low-rooted life
Scarred and weeping skin
from middle-class weekends of
pottering was not ours to wash off

This city is a rubbed scab
which if picked will bleed
from its red core and then fester
until a dry canker kills it off –
Once for all – as the Bible says

We slept with different women
of various sizes and weights
and woke to awkward breaths
and memory loss – some things
are best left on Hampstead Heath

Thursday – Overground to Euston

We travel sober through London Bridge – below
brick arches – on roads cowered by glassy heights –
Our cabbie blasts bent-to-smartphone bodies
back from near-hits on red-man crossings –

it seems that Londoners have now forgotten
how to see the threats beyond their implements –
We now live hand-to-eye – no longer hand-to-mouth –
no shape-to-spoken words – now embedded emojis spout –

We briefly find speed over the river crossing
and then turn left through the gold standard of cheats –
of fund managers – of clerics – of bankers and white Gods –
where every seat and bench in the low sun is arse-taken –

Thursday lunchtime is the dress rehearsal for Friday excess
behind St Paul’s – and in the eateries of Clerkenwell –
in the stained and new cafes – at exotic roadside pop-ups
and in smoke-free pubs until ten o’clock that night –
Our ride is time travel and a belching reminder that
we are in a handcart to hell – instead of the Underground