Open 11am to 8pm
Royal Festival Hall (Level 5), Southbank Centre, LondonOpen Tuesday - Sunday from 11am to 8pm
Even now, and now again, I have it
in mind. Such care to prepare
you little thin things.
I would not have you suffer
gristle. One chew, two,
then swallow. Precious little
time remains waiting for something
better to come along. It cannot
help but impress and it will like
sudden concrete. The ice
cream van arrives. It
jingles. So very neat
conclusions are envisaged.
Just enjoy the little
things. The stumble-down
rickety fire-escape leant
against rickety house leant
against the pink
sky. Its black shambles.
I have it now –
now you see it
wrecking the horizon.
The ground beneath
its feet may never move
again. It is petrified
by the thought.
Such just cause
to hurry about. Skip
steps. Fervent on bambi-legs.
Each small fall calls out:
‘Action must be taken!’
At the corner shop on Union Street,
I dosey-doe around a man my age
who’s just popped out for milk.
He scoots back to his door and opens up.
That serrated sound – the house key going home,
the scrappy jangle of the others on the fob –
is how it was when my door opened to another hand.
I would have been behind him with the fish and chips,
some shopping; finishing a phone call as he let us in.
He would push the door closed with one foot,
step unlooking to the kitchen and the coat hook,
throw the keys onto the side.
There’s the lover’s jingle, there’s the key
that opens a house and clicks it into occupancy.
by hiring a boat in the fishing village of Camogli and heading off
for the waters of Zoagli. He has his hand firmly on the tiller
and he’s telling me that one day he’s going to be a champion boxer.
He’s taking me to Zoagli because he wants me to see the fish.
I don’t tell him that when he was born the fish leapt clean out of the sea
nor do I tell him that when his mother was going crazy
the fish of Zoagli flew straight into my head and flapped.
I don’t say, Son if you could open my head and let the fish go free
I might take the day off and pretend that life was sweet.