bout a lady and a strumpet, and
her fear that in the cemetery their bones
would mix indecently.
But dreads the final Trumpet,
Lest half of her should rise herself,
And half some local strumpet!
It was given by our guide
at the end of our excursion,
a navigation of St Pancreas Basin,
by the lea of Kings Cross Station.
And he gives us his rendition
on the narrow boat that bore us
through the tunnel under Islington
where the legless sailor drank, and sank
And we heard her protestations
To the seagulls lamentations
her fear of the confusion
at the final foghorns blast.
And on he spoke, of Gas and Coke
Victorian Architecture, Coal Shuttles
The War, The Docks, The Pox,
All human jam, the mulch of time,
whisked up with bricks and mortar.
Except it doesn’t rise at all,
but sinks down to the bottom:
to bedded archaeology,
and bits of pure codology,
details from the past,
lingerings from an age,
never quite forgotten,
never fully rotten.
Sitting on the muddy bottom
of London’s, watery grave: the Regency canal.