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            looking for my own true nature – Plumstead, Woolwich, 1909151

            these times of being cut loose are more usual than comfortable
            the buzz of contact and identity more potential than actual

            I go up to London to find bits of my true nature somewhere
            deep inside the forty four miles of time that has elapsed,

            past the same street boards advertising new plastic on trend,
            in even more colourful lime but now un-im-bleach-able;

            where grand gable and architrave stand cleanly revealed in all
            of their time from behind trimmed hedge, but window bay and

            fanned lintel remain obscured behind opportune ash (and
            where crickets rasp in raised lawn to ear level off the hill); on

            the hill2 a crack in the front wall sinking century-ly downhill
            under sounds of jet somewhere in the sky hidden by dampening

            of leylandii; did I get baptised at All Saints Shooters Hill3,
            or did my brother, when the church was still young, its

            thousand panes held individual by lead, reflecting the
            cubist street, I don’t remember now – fractured memory;

            where sandstone is shaped short in modest Empire-control: in
            niche and ledge and decorative finial, during all the wind of

            cold streets, withstanding the new redbrick of decades; I
            cannot draw the line of brick at the corner of Bloomfield

            Road, true neither to hill nor sky nor shadowed underledge
            to the proud cornice (boundaries to distant-impossible crane)

            or even the sharp roofs clipped to lead-clad valley, let alone the
            ample iron downpipe … but I have learnt to write the architecture

            of odd alignment and cut-through alley; perched now against
            Ashlar Place at just the right angle between sun-wipe and shadow

            (shiny haloes in the indents on the page as I write Gurdwara
             Sahib Ramgarhia Temple
4 in biro), the architecture of

            eternal Empire highlighted in gold with khandas blowing
            in the wind … still cannot obscure the luxury apartments in

            constant construct: -ING IS BELIEVING;5 buses come and
            buses go all along Woolwich New Road before the clapping

            troup of ‘Time for God’ angels and their families stood around,
            full of God’s immanent voices, in and out of sight and chant,

            (I have an old photo: a man crossing the road from Beresford
             Square6 with box suitcase in grey [and suggested brown] after

            apparent rain … when the retired newsagent passed by adding
            that he had run that shop opposite for thirty years, how –

            much – it – has – changed); perched, now, on the Metropolitan
            Drinking Fountain & Cattle Trough, oiled and crust stone

            from hide-breath and redundant exhaust; a mother and slinky
            daughter watch the marching bands pass from their third floor

            balcony, height of streetlight, defined before the upright
            sea of tarp covering the next block of the Royal Arsenal

            Riverside in construct (surprise!); ah, Lee Rigby,7 under height
            of Elliston House, these cars pass far too quick to get

            to their traffic, those beech trees opposite have grown to
            lean downhill for fifty years and more; I looked at every

            plaque, Mum, found plenty of Jeans and Margarets (and
            even Gladyss) but no Redfords, I can’t think I would have

            missed you sixteen years into other existences … I don’t
            know: I smiled at some of the plaques as I looked for you,

            I shall smile at everyone now that I haven’t found you

 

1 this peice follows my last visit to London: walking downhill from Plumstead to Woolwich and around and back, driving to Eltham to where my mother (Jean Marguerite Redford 1933-1999, daughter of Gladys Charlotte Conlay 1906-1989) was cremated
2 Eglinton Hill, early childhood home
3 All Saints Shooters Hill
4 Woolwich Gurdwara
5 woolwich new road and buildings
6 true nature II
7 Lee Rigby tributes in front of Elliston House

 

 

————w(O)rmholes________________________________|—–

brown & love & red wormhole: when in Belgium do as the chocolates do
buildings & life & streets wormhole: gotcha
bus & sun wormhole: Christmas lights / around the lamp post
cars wormhole: portrait: / two pigeons
change & gold & Woolwich wormhole: ING IS BELIEVING
childhood & Nan wormhole: new garden
church wormhole: you can only smell the candles / when they have been snuffed out
compassion wormhole: [s]
crane wormhole: com- / mute
daughter wormhole: the retriever the daughter and the mother
death & writing wormhole: Poewieviews
Eglinton Hill & London wormhole: the breath of London
family wormhole: let’s have some ice creams
glass wormhole: ‘in clear oil air …’
grey & identity & time & trees & walls wormhole: walking through Lewes
hedge wormhole: the continental stride of trains
history & Mum wormhole: sit
lime & sky & stone wormhole: David Bowie – Iris
living wormhole: currency: / assent for statement – / ‘smakin’alivvin’
loneliness wormhole: ‘passing overhead …’
looking wormhole: Office at Night, 1940
mother wormhole: gre[wh]y / has Daddy left us?
passing wormhole: clouds
Plumstead wormhole: dream 260815
rain wormhole: “walking …”
rooftops & smile & streetlight wormhole: the silent night of the Batman
shadow wormhole: Seven A.M, 1948
society wormhole: the Growing Man
sound & wind wormhole: the open window
travelling wormhole: Compartment C, Car 193, 1938

 

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