I tell them I am come from
lamplighters, and chimney sweeps...
usherettes – sold ice-creams,
and ladies that ‘did’...
from coppers in the scullery
fuelling weekly, Friday night baths –
from flat-irons, and Ewbank sweepers –
from gramophones, and carpet-beaters...
from Cisco Kid and Pancho –
Rin-Tin-Tin and Zorro...
from 'Saturday Morning Pictures'...
one of Tottenham Ritz’s ‘ABC Minors’.
I am from where children
had to be seen, and not heard...
from weekly syrup-of-figs, and
six-monthly screening for TB...
from a front-room, complete
with piano...kept locked, except
for when Aunt Edna – wax fruit
on her hat, came to tea.
I am the bell of the Rag
and Bone Man...the Shrimp
Man on Sundays and, the dray
of the Corona Man – Mondays.
I am from distant, fickle Rigel,
flickering in a blackberry sky...from
a water-melon moon, dangling
from a willow.
I am the four winds that blow;
the mighty bear, the fleet-footed
panther, the misty-breathed moose,
and the white-freckled fawn.
I am from a moment, long ago,
that knew a fledgling sparrow... fallen
from a nest could spread its wings