Weeds and leafs are carried along by the river
which dimples with multi-directional ripples.
The power station is defunct,
It would be hotel-like in appearance
If not flanked by four huge chimneys,
Each coated in peeling paint.
In front, on an ageing wooden platform
Perch two winches,
Their metal rubbed raw by rust,
Their necks held slack by marionette wires,
The platform is decorated with old tires.
The latest spasm of money ignites
Building site after building site.
Next to the power station is
The Western Riverside Waste Authority-
Do they traffic in shit?
Will they be moved upriver in the latest wave of development?
Plane tree leafs in the park are
matt and coarse,
Light through them grey-green and subdued.
Younger leafs, dwarfed by their gigantic and coarse older siblings,
are soft to the touch like lambs’ ears.
These trees have learnt to thrive on rain and grey London air
Their trunks ashen but muscular.
Silver birches look spindly in comparison
With branches like sprigs of thyme-
One tree’s branches droop sadly
While a small dog’s collar rattle rings.
The art deco cafe ‘La Gondola’
is beaten up.
The angry owner has posted angry signs everywhere-
‘This is NOT a picnic area’
‘Toilets are for customers ONLY’
‘PLEASE be aware of the pigeons,
DO NOT feed them.
La Gondola DOES NOT accept any responsibility for
ANY damage caused by pigeons.’
The cafe is utterly empty,
Stock is neatly arranged and
The owner stands at the till looking sceptical in a red gilet,
Her dyed hair slightly thinning.
Outside, cranes prod clouds,
Rooster-like they demand attention.
Their heavy beaks swing on their wire necks.
They do what humans cannot
And nothing to them is immovable.