The writer pretending to be a poet, snapped by his wife pretending she's a photographer, in a folly pretending it's a temple of art (but the hat was real).John Light's latest poetry collection is Chimerical City, a series of poems about London where the author was born. My favourite two poems from the book are reproduced here, as well as the photograph above (a version of which appears on the back cover), by permission of the author.
On the underground
no one speaks to anyone else;
in the dark depths of the metropolis
life is serious;
people read or think lonely thoughts,
thoughts not to be shared with other faces.
But in the sunshine
of summer streets above the ground
bright buses are like caravanserais
noisy with gossip and laughter,
sharing the commerce of a great city.
Summoned by Betjeman
Morning train from Tring to Euston,
Underground to Stepney Green,
Climbing stairs to sunlit pavements
So unlike the Chilterns green.
Journey from the tree clad hillsides
To the city clothed in stone,
From the little lanes long winding
To the broad straight streets wind-blown.
Through the blue vault, slowly drifting,
Come white clouds from western shires.
Sunlight glints on broken bottles,
Sharper than the woodland briars.
I love hillsides green and graceful,
Where wild flowers skirt the roads;
Yet I write of darkest London,
Where humanity implodes.
Chimerical City: Poems of London by John Light
37 The Meadows
ISBN 978 1 897968 37 6