Abandoned Railway Line


Destination and departure – have blown away.
Highgate, Fortis Green...are running late.
White petals scatter, patterning the wind's whirl;
sycamore shoots thrust up; foxes sniff out
gardens, alleys with bins ripe for the forage,
trot-skip through the tangle. What laws?
Out of a railway arch a Green Man grows,

through Victorian brickwork. His vulpine smile.
It's pure London – where I’m hunting for glee:
strolling along a gone-green scar; heading nowhere
via this old railway line; tracking the empty vein
through spiky graffiti and delinquent blooms:
mauves, purple, lemon, and rose - a jungle bursts
out of the cracked greys of sealed-up ground -

ah Shiva! Ah japa that threads earth and sky,
running souls down a track, birth-death-birth-death...!
Cosmologies that yawn unfold and roll out
with the daily rituals: commuters on their wheels,
joggers, walkers pulled by dogs - faster, go faster -
while, perched on a bridge, I hoot down at traffic:
Who’s stuck? Who sticks? We’re sticky.

A feral canal, broken pram in her lap,
contemplates these rites of passage. All hail
her patient flows! Locked and sluiced, they ooze
with time and profit, judgement and dumping;
while the onwards momentum swells into a world
of tumble and spin. Unknowing's pilgrimage:
pull and couple, then shudder and halt -

no aim, no end. Just the old vanishing point,
just a nervous certainty contracting the mind
while the heart of all-constructing things
beats its wild drum: step up, and no stopping!
Homes rise out of entranced convictions,
but cities reveal us, our pride and our crumbling:
they tune in to our spawn-song better.

Pub, warehouse, gardens, cemetery -
the travelling on uproots all the stations,
driving through its clattering smoke - to derail
into an ever-opening now: a brief given breath,
the rapture of hawthorn blossoms, the lost football
and figures waving - signs that flash and point
unmoving through the moving, straight ahead.




Posted: Tue 17 Nov, 2009