To show my appreciation
Polite applause to the far-flung actors playing out their lives
On well-worn stages, patching cynicism into song.
To champagne-sipping businessmen in Armani suits
And their secret lovers, hidden away in this
Sprawling, living city.
To the angry politicians with their campaigns and ideas:
Words can make a nation, surely the poets understand that best
All holed up in little indie cafes
Trying to resurrect stanzas –
Oh, allow me to show my utmost gratitude for the
Busker in the underground at Elephant and Castle
Seeing through the walls into the grubby alleyways
That wind through London, tangled and knotted like yarn
Pulling, pulling the winter in because it’s always dusk in these alleys
And the light is speckled with grime and desperation –
All you need, really, is a little self-preservation
Because there’s never enough for those who
Hibernate in dumping grounds, who flash past closed shutters while
Stereo rap blares from BMWs and an Asian tourist’s prized camera goes click.
Taxi drop offs and cobble streets bridging too many gaps to cross.
Allow me to show my thanks
As I stand here and feel this great concrete heart pulse.