West Norwood

Sprawled on this beach before the ocean of London:

A place undecided, vague and ill-defined

Which is washed by London,

Advancing and retreating out of Surrey

I cling here lonely, alone

Toe-poking the ocean which will be my home.


I explore library, church and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

And finding nothing resembling a friend

I search further into the belly of London

Probing addresses in Tufnel Park and Parsons Green

Which bring conversation but no community:

No family with which to populate my new home


I still can find no sea legs,

No gills with which to breathe the city's air

I resort to sad embraces with foreign women,

Fleeting excursions to Brixton with friends from out of town

And the brief magic of cinema.

For I have not yet learnt to inhabit the fluid stage of London.