Celebrating its first anniversary, dVersepoets asks us to encore a poem submitted to them in the last year. The following is a new draft of the one I posted on the 17th August 2011
How to forgive you, London, my lovely?
Last time I saw you, alas, you were dirty:
Oxford Street cluttered with boxes and beer cans,
litter and dust clouds there, blown by the wind.
I'll forgive and forget as all lovers do,
for these are the prints I've no wish to retain;
I'll stick with the warmth that I felt for the art shows
where dealers invited the populace in:
colourful, small, like the stalls in a kasbah -
not that they'd thank me for putting it so! -
their paintings and prints delighting the soul.
In one of those galleries columns of smoke
signalled the end of my favourite coat -
one naked bar fire beneath a small painting,
one extra lapse, already forgiven.
How could I drop you and your House of Commons?
(The best entertainment for free you can get:
dead meats and their prices debated for hours.)
How not to forgive who showed me the ballet:
Berisova and Fonteyn, and dear Drury Lane?
The glories reflected to your signal credit
include The Royal Court, Pinter, Osborne and co.
Oh London, my Lovely, I'll pardon your faults...
though the riots, I grant, will take a wee while!
Oh London, my lovely, your charms are sublime, are
brighter by far than the stars in the sky,
more abundant than ever though marred by your garb.
Remind me, my London, over and over,
that change is illusive, you still are the London
of memory cherished before our brief parting.
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