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        Plumstead – Woolwich – Plumstead 220211

        the crane holds effortlessly over from behind
        the houses and trees cables thrumming always
        cold and eventually it will all be dismantled;

        the diesel car purred slowly downhill, a pigeon
        dropped down behind it walked around a bit;
        through the leaf-clean branches of the young

        tree the Edwardian cornices and tops along
        Plumstead Common Road, don’t collect thoughts,
        t a s t e them without notice, deep and wet

        with no tice – much less effort – while walking,
        every once in a while the wall steps up a brick
        I search for being clear again … step, while

        walking stop, and breathe the beauty, stop
        and smile a little thought for you; in St. Mary
        Magdalene’s ground the mother has turned

        points to the trees, birds fly off and land, the
        toddler steps and stands among the pigeons
        while the mother brings the abandoned scooter

        but then in New Road holding the handshake
        shaking between exchange the firm friends
        look at each other only occasionally; while he

        he Had a coffee heated sandwich iced bun
        crisps water £8.89, busses passing bulbous
        over the dark green and hanging shade; up

        the hill on the coldstreet stepping downhill
        out the newsagent the bright blue padded
        jacket and the single bounce of a well-inflated

        basketball with simultaneous echo inside; the
        while on a wall opposite his Mum’s flat dead
        almost 12 years now watching a boy with a limp

        and the 53 bus working between parked cars
        and the crossing island with air suspension
        and when it was quiet the dark coat and white

        trainers crossed the road paused and into the
        newsagents but then I didn’t see where she
        went; the constant echo of boys’ voices playing

        football on Plumstead Common off Acacia
        Terrace 1890; and I can’t see 46 Eglinton Hill
        where I’m sat, conifers grow so quick, but

        `doesn’t matter, I can’t see the blackbird singing
        a different collect each time either; crows on the
        chimneys of 40/38; for a minute the blackbird

        stopped no vehicles uphill downhill, lights
        went on across the river and each house had
        the face of lifetimes in their windows;


Every year and a while I travel 40 miles up to Woolwich, where I grew up, to check that the journey I make started off in the write direction (HA!); while wandering I write, leaning on peoples’ front walls and making a coffee last in a cafe (and every once in a while I treat myself to an afternoon bench); walking downhill from Plumstead to Woolwich and around and back, in time; those who know Woolwich and Plumstead (all none of you across the world wide, as far as I can tell, although you have got Google maps, if you’re really interested) will [be able to] recognise as they appear: South Circular coming up to Well Hall roundabout, Eglinton Hill [childhood home], Plumstead Common Road, St Mary Magdelene’s Church, Woolwich New Road, [along A206], Waverley Crescent (top of Griffin Road), Plumstead Common (proper), back up Eglinton Hill …




architecture wormhole: pen and ruler
birds wormhole: open window
blackbird & change wormhole: relief
blue wormhole: low afternoon
branches wormhole: between
breathing & coffee shop & evening & sound & time & windows wormhole: amid
bus wormhole: Mark & Jon at the coffee shop III
cars & green & trees wormhole: Cocktails in 1951
child & streets wormhole: red / lacquer / door
childhood wormhole: all the sandstone / reflections in the / marble-blue troughs
church wormhole: ‘someone …’
coffee wormhole: Mark & Jon at the coffee shop I
crane wormhole: Luton // couldn’t make a poem out of it
crows wormhole: the ancient tree
death & light & Mum wormhole: good going into / that gentle night
echo wormhole: circuitry
Eglinton Hill & Plumstead wormhole: lost and city ground
Have & looking wormhole: found
lifetimes wormhole: cape and cowl
mother wormhole: mother and daughter
passing & roads & leaves wormhole: leaves
pigeons wormhole: municipal garden
quiet wormhole: the quiet whale
Thames wormhole: to rescue something
thought wormhole: ‘God, who am I …?’
voices wormhole: I keep / waiting to be discovered and get lost in anticipation
walking wormhole: cinnamon / milkshake
Woolwich wormhole: that comicbookshop … // … in dreams