9 Aug 2011

Over the Flat

I decided to write a poem about leaving my flat of four years, interesting to me how much of what I will miss is based around sounds and dynamics...

She will miss the red brick chimney tops
the converging bird duos, green leafy patches pointing to the blue
and speckled sky which is
sometimes pink, or a double rainbow once she caught from this view
even the distant council block she will miss
reflecting the burning sunset back at her
and the nearby old jam factory chimney
a tribute to hand-operated industry
now flats too expensive to enjoy
like this one, that she will miss
no more office roof parties to look out onto amused
no more council flat barbeques where
African women sing to themselves on late Saturday afternoons
as they turn butcher's meat over the convereted oil barrels
and their children shout orders at each other in mock games
she was part of this cross section of space where
a lifelong smoker frequents only that corner of his garden
to convene daily with his beloved solace
and will so miss waking up to seagulls spilled over from a choppy river
the dropouts in the park below
excitedly expressing their drunkeness in unified banter on early afternoons
till the community police ask them to move on and
the lady who tends the public garden with her mug of tea perched atop a post
the children in pyjamas who speak secretly on early evenings from window to window 
when they should be in bed
near the council flats where a man once killed his children
because his mind was in so much turmoil
he forgot his purpose, forgot his role
the neighbours all were silent and lay flowers
and the jasmine still overgrows the wall
the honeysuckle still offers up flowers each summer
only yards from where a boy was killed in broad daylight
with a machete by kids his age
only yards from where another crime once took place
and she still walks home
because they are mixed here
they know
there is a little bit of each community represented here
they balance each other out
they live side by side
reacting to the same waves of news
looking upon the same moon in the same sky
tending the same streets
frequenting the same spaces
hearing each other's sounds
familiar with each other's faces,
now no more. She will go elsewhere and pick up on other traces
and here it will all go on
better but as before.