How much more local

How much more local

Life from breath to breath
           living on the spur of the moment
among roses and daffodils
           down by Erith Deep Wharf
the river’s ebb revealing
           the mudflats where long-legged
oyster-catchers and other waders
           eke out an existence
so much memory
           so much sunken time

so much change since I was a child
           the wooden jetties collapsed
replaced by the cold hard cement
           of progress and the dull hand
of municipal planning in which
           the imagination is forced
into a backseat or is totally costed
           out of the process
degenerate regeneration
           as though nobody was ever expected
to survive the onslaught
           all that corrodes
with no eye for beauty
           no ear for the truth
no rest for the innocent
           no life for lovers

John Lyons


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