Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Flowering

The Flowering by Glenn Shea

I love to imagine London fallen quiet,
silent really, just past the toll of twelve;
walking past the white bulk of St. Paul's
or by the steps of Paternoster Square;
not in the panicked silences of nights
of the Blitz but merely unpeopled streets,
London asleep, lit bright by the moon,
quiet as the pond and woods behind our house.
I stroll down Fleet Street in my dreaming
to peer in the dark alleys and entries
that lead to the Inns of Court; a stray dog
may stroll by but of even the police
I hear no more than their echoing talk.
Up the curl of Goodge Street I lay my
hand flat in affection on the stout black
door of Johnson's house, and as in my
night the church is lit, I enter
the sadness of St. Dunstan's, its
silences like the streets outside. In
the short night of a poem I reach
Trafalgar Square, still lit, like an
etching, by the moon, unpeopled yet
even by lovers; then pale dawn edges up
and people appear, morning-eyed, stepping
from their dreams to speech, and like
them I take coffee in the crypt below
St. Martin's. I watch them, the creatures
of a city I have dreamed, the flowering
of an ache to be at home and there,
and they vanish up the bustle of
Charing Cross or past the fruit market
at Villiers Street, they vanish as I start
awake to other thoughts, or fall past
them in the peace of dreaming.

"The Flowering" by Glenn Shea, from Find a Place That Could Pass for Home. © Salmon Poetry, 2010.

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