I like London when it’s quiet

I like London when it’s quiet.
When the hum of the overground feels louder than John
                  24. Solicitor. Single. Bank
Regaling tales of the night before
Where we all seem to want to know more…

I like being able to walk down the pavement
Without jumping into a bin
to accommodate Lucy and Laura and oh, she looks like a Paula
Skirting past to Brunch – last night’s achievement on their lips, another win.

I like hearing the sound of b a r e l y anything at all
But a distant bike revving to bring its banquet to those who ordered it all
To have the space and the time
to hear my own thoughts actually rhyme

Like the day after a house party 

I like the sound of squeaky shoes on gallery floors
Coupled with trepidation and the usual head-tilt-stance
Not a herd of elephants trying to dance
For that is not what I hear when I look at Rembrandt 

I like hearing the sound of coffee cups
Clashing with others, ready for use
Blossoms on trees, in shades of cotton and puse
Sharpening up my senses, after feeling like a recluse 

I like the sound of distant chattering on the bus
Through muffled masked mutters – how I love to swear under my breath in mine
It finally feels like there’s a bit of London for each of us
To enjoy, digest,
drop by drop like fine wine 

I like being able to slow down a little bit
But enjoy the things that make this town so special
Not feeling swamped by loud voices, packed carriages, stuffed under John’s armpit
Missing this London before it’s already gone 

I like having space to move and think
To lay in fields and to dive into ponds
Without worrying about being kicked by a football or worse still kicking some poor sod in the face
Or listening to loud nonsense babble about premium bonds.

I don’t have children but I guess it’s that usual tale of
“Slow down, stay like this a bit longer, selfishly for me?”
All I want to do is turn up somewhere quietly for some lunch under a tree
Instead of squashing past the perfumed girls on the way to Brunch

Clare Dyckhoff
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  1. Gilli

    So much of this poem resonates with me Clare. I too loathe being stuffed under John’s armpit. I’m a regular head tilter, & not just in galleries. But what I like best is, your poem reminds me of the London of my childhood, and brings to mind so many precious memories. ❤️

    1. Clare

      Oh Gilli, thank you! That’s so lovely to hear and I’m glad it brought back so many memories. It really is a very special place in so many ways, if irksome and exhausting in many others.
      Thank you for sharing your appreciation x

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