The burnished bronze disc over autumn mist
that blows like crack smoke over dark red slate
of South London suburban terraces

moves me to toast my Edo period mate,
the noble Katsushika Hokusai,
and wonder what great prints he would create

on visiting the London of today.
In place of waterfalls, would he embrace
the Thames’s ripples reflected up high

by the skyscraper’s facade of plated glass?
Instead of geishas tangled in the limbs
of amorous octopi could he retrace

the same theme with the Spearmint Rhino dames,
the Queen’s face glaring from their stuffed G-strings?
In place of Mount Fuji or the Great Wave

would he carve out a mass of hooded teens
falling upon the Currys Superstore
and washing our their iPads and flatscreens

followed by Boris backwash and the hordes
of broom toting middle class liberals
who never before shared a kindly word

with street sweepers employed by the council?
Like an apprentice, I am yet to know
the true nature of things that’s shared by all—

the wave’s foam crown, the mountain topped with snow,
blinded by time, I don’t see what you see
as what you rendered all those years ago

comes round like the conveyor at YO! Sushi.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. peter litton
    Nov 16, 2011 @ 01:46:54

    One word to sum up this one… imagery, loads of it.
    Now I’m searching for the connections.

    I think one look at our world would make Katsushika Hokusai consider Ha´ri`ka`ri.


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