London 2012

Underground snack
We burrow under Hyde Park.
I look up from my paper
to see his quick movements
and scared glances, as he
chipmunks his way round the apple,
paring with his teeth,
placing the peel precisely
in a napkin on his lap.

Then begins the main meal,
as he carefully carves to the centre,
eyes darting, scared, legs trembling,
until the core is safely tissue-wrapped.
The doors open, he leaves.
The woman opposite smiles.

My town
Today I looked down on you,
Swarms of people, cars and buses choking your veins
Railways pulsing with long thin trains.
Your paths don’t lead to lofty hills and views,
Just to more concrete and stone.
From the top of your tower, despite clouds,
I see Hampstead Heath, Canary Wharf,
New St Pancras and Richmond Park,

Later, on the Wheel, clouds lift
And lights shine along the Thames from
Parliament to St Pauls, but nothing compares
With your display when I fly back down the river
Two million houses, ten thousand roads,
Reborn Dome, towering offices old and new –
Erotic Gherkin, Shard, Canary Wharf,
My Waterloo, then the western blandness before
The landing bump brings me home, to
My town.

The early bus to Richmond
Regulars arrive at the stop.
It’s dark, dawn beginning,
streets damp from the night’s rain.

Early landing planes scream,
but the bus is calm, before the
storm surge of school kids and commuters.

I sit at the back, lulled by the engine growling
beneath me, a smooth-changing automatic, 
no crunching gears of yesteryear.

Empty roads, the driver’s early,
goes slow. I doze my way towards
London's waking heart.