Et in Arcadia Ego – Ed Thomas

Lovely England spoke tenderly of it’s separate children;
The echoes in the marketplace,
The gulls swooping over the sea-wall;
Cutting inland over the valleys towards the luscious green delta.
The clock chimes midnight in town hall square,
And two lovers wave a silent goodnight from the fountain-
The red bus standing at the park-side,
The late night gentlemen passing homewards on the promenade:
top hat relegated to right hand, waistcoat bursting gilt trimmed buttons with an aching heart.

The cat cries, coming up for air- it’s bright green eyes cutting through the cool evening breeze as it skips through the moonlit rooftops, somehow elated in its own kind of solitude.

High season in Whitehall and St James’; the sound of a jazz band interrupted by the sobriety of expectation, and tonight on the Mall an open top cruiser collides head on with a ragged tramp and keeps on driving.

Far far away in Morocco, or Tunis or Khartoum, I can feel your heart beating ever slower in your filthy hospital bed; and there in Westminster the bridge at midnight trembles with the growing pains of this summer circus so far removed from where it all began.

London: I love you but you’re bringing me down- yet to understand all is to forgive all, for what its worth; so it’s with this final air of Pathos that I finally leave you behind.

(This was a commissioned poem for the forum)


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