The only sunset we see from my flat
is reflected from the stacked windows
of tower blocks on a housing estate

in Forest Hill, about four miles or so
across the leafy swathe of Dulwich streets.
I doubt that I will ever come to know

the little lives played on the twelve square feet
of carpet in their cosy living rooms,
or whether they are taking in the sight

of the sun vanishing behind our roof.


Canto CCV

I hope that we will do this when we’re old,
walk through our manor at the Spring day’s end,
lob crusts at waterfowl around the pond,

grumble about the boozing youngsters when
they sway all giggly into our path.
We’ll fend off unleashed pitbulls with our canes

and tut as they defecate on the grass.
Then, as the last sunrays run flat and low,
we’ll bemoan how we’ve lost our golden past

until we hear the final, tremulous throes
of birdsong from the bower cathedrals
that shimmer in the final, hazy glow,

and in turn we’ll be ageless and enthralled.


Crossing Waterloo bridge around midnight
with another poet after a reading,
I notice how the thick fog smothers light,

the tops of distant towers vanishing.
Even the flashing blinkers can’t be seen,
the city swallowed by a great nothing,

some rogue black hole on holiday from CERN.
The illusion provokes a sense of calm,
though not because of Cox’s dulcet tones

about how small we are before the chasm
of empty space and how our young species
is but a mote on the slide rule of time.

Nor is it from Ray Davies’ paradise,
the sunset that must be eight hours gone,
and this is Sabbath’s doom laden reply.

It’s more that, as the primal dark returns,
the Big Bang’s fury playing in reverse,
we paupers on the ground still get our fun

watching the penthouse dwellers cop it first.

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