View from a London Roof Terrace
Up here, they laugh and prise the lid off
with a spoon.
The city split in two, stapled in bridges,
mirrored in high-rise three-sided cubes.
Can we see us, looking?
Down there are the streets: cabs crawling
like digits, electric cars with tinted glass,
kitemark faces, traffic lights ticking, erasing
seconds, those bridges and their bollards
planted to not let the threat through,
pavements torpid and loaded with gazers,
their extra selves hanging out on selfie
Down there, a storm surge against the tide
Look – the river’s barging!
Won’t somebody down there shut the gates!
But it’s late.
And they can’t put it back,
wrap and wrap the lid up in the stripy tape of
Kerry Jones: 14.02.20
Hair bobble Maltesers share bag: half Silver nose stud Yamaha guitar painted red Smiles 2 pennies 5 two ps 3 pounds Bra: label cut out 1 green/blue/black eye You have a good day now Samsung Galaxy J3: locked Knitted hat: pink Torn out newspaper ad: to let 1 can Monster: empty Loyalty Plastic bag with broken chalks: assorted colours Sleeping bag: purple stain at foot Eskimo kiss 1 pair pants: cherry print Untampered Durex extra safe Teaspoon: plastic Tattoo: left wrist: miles to go before I sleep
He stands and walks to the glass.
Across the street he sees a man threading through the crowd, head down, texting
a man under an oak, at the edge of the park texting
a man at the station, expectantly waiting texting
a man on the steps of the silent fountain texting
a boy at a table, one candle, head against the misted window texting
a man striding down the arctic corridor texting
a man at the wheel, traffic at a standstill texting
a man drawing back from the night and the dust of the stars texting
a man drenched in sweat under the mosquito net texting
a girl, she’s holding a child she’s texting
He moves to the desk. His phone flares.
Elaine Baker is a freelance poetry teacher and mentor. She has a passion for inspiring the next generation of poets and works in schools. Her poetry has been widely published in journals and titles and her pamphlet Winter with Eva came out with V Press this year. She is based in the UK. Her website is: www.elaine-baker.com and she tweets @kitespotter.