February 15, 2016

An Afternoon in East London #1

(Broadway Market)

There's something about weekday London. 

It's quiet. And there's always a seat in the cafes. Not like a Saturday where we're all spilling onto the path; a rat race even in our downtime.

Along the canal, you can walk without fear of being turfed into the black, glossy water by that steady stream of cyclists and incessant tinkling of bells; the warning siren of collision.

There's room for thought, too.

And maybe even an identity crisis.

  (Hackney City Farm)

Who am I?

At Colombia Road, at last you can get inside the shops so usually crammed with Sunday bodies and their bunches of flowers, precariously balancing their coffees, but there's not a flower vendor in sight.

No pussy willow for you today. Just tins of Portuguese fish.

 (Colombia Road Parade)

 You could have a wet shave if you had the facial hair, with a flat white on the side, but you keep on walking.

Hello? Can you see me? There are faces, but is there soul?

 (Bunhill Fields)

Finding the headstone to one of your much loved London poet's, it's peaceful enough to recall your favourite poem of his:

'I wander thro' each charter'd street,
Near where the charter'd Thames does flow. 
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every Man,
In every Infants cry of fear,
In every voice: in every ban,
The mind-forg'd manacles I hear 

How the Chimney-sweepers cry
Every blackning Church appalls, 
And the hapless Soldiers sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls 

But most thro' midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlots curse
Blasts the new-born Infants tear 
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse'

 A blasted account of this fascinating city you live in.

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