Blood thicker than water

specs
Hieroglyphs, John Lyons (oil on canvas)

Blood thicker than water

Blood thicker than
           the waters we crossed
to get to Shoreditch
           or to St Katharine’s Dock
past Traitor’s Gate
           along Kingsland Road
to eat at Vietnam
           duck on a platter
and mango salad
           the stuff of memories
and wondering now
           what it all meant
and why it was
           so soon forgotten
a mystery written
           in our dust

John Lyons

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All the world

St Leonard's Shoreditch
St Leonard’s, Shoreditch

All the world

All from
      the same earth
clay formed
      in our image
and likeness
      the willows
the swans
      the geese waddling
by the river’s edge
      the church where 
actors are buried
      in the yard

all from
      the same stage
time-honoured
      in the fading
tombstones
      these too were lovers
were sons
      and daughters
players all from
      the same earth
the damp grass littered
      with autumn leaves
all from
      the same earth

John Lyons


There has been a church on this site since medieval times. It is situated near the site of The Theatre, England’s first purpose-built playhouse, built in Shoreditch in 1576, and is the burial place of several Elizabethan actors.