Blackfriars Beach

Blackfriars Beach

Stop a nudge past Blackfriars Bridge
walk west, lean on river wall,
perhaps below an iron dolphin lamp,
(or sturgeon if pedantic)

And there within the city cries,
hear noise without an echo,
no car, no crane, no person;
but timeless remix, slapped down

Beyond the bounds of memory,
greeting foreshore with a rippled
plash, whispering of the lost,
before a withdrawal to ask again.

Grounded gulls strut this inland beach –
a shingled blitz-brick, rubble, worn
wood, plastic shreds confection –
But these birds have no real answer

In their cackled mewing keowing calls,
While mid-stream on a shit-spattered barge,
cormorants unfold themselves as crosses,
anchored to a Thames, expectant.

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