Upon the Bridges of London

by Lise Day

Breath-air blooms the frosty night on Westminster Bridge
a child pirouettes her way from Covent Garden to the station
the shimmer of Christmas lights is on the dark water.

On a soft spring morning the great arches of London Bridge
frame the pollarded trees outside Tate Britain
sticky buds fluttering tiny flags of emerald green.

High summer we bounce across the Millenium Bridge
heads full of Tate Modern art towards Saint Peter’s dome
pearlescent in the long level rays of sun.

The great bascule arms of Tower Bridge lift high in a pale sky,
the red buses pause, allowing the passage
of a full rigged yacht on her way to sea.

Now the outgoing tide will drag away the blood of terror.
In the morning the river will rise afresh, wash the city clean
as all that mighty heart is beating still.


Holding pattern

by Elizabeth Trew

London – Johannesburg

Once more I visit out of season
turn my web on London grass
and walk through cones of primrose light
by sheds of water opening the drowned canal.
I find you in the river’s bow
stringing flags to welcome me.
On the bridge you pass me by on roller blades
turning shoes with tiny keys.
On the stairs you brush my coat with lemon stars.
Sipping every voice of you
I drench my boots with snowdrop lids
let my litmus lift and turn the wheel
across our world, my leaving you.

My exiled days return to you,
nudge my certain landing rush
towards your open cosmos eye
through gold-reef doorways city deep.
Under the bridge I touch your scars and broken lips.
On the hill my trumpet vines
reveal the ruby blare of you.
I tap the mourning earth
replace my roots,
I line my river paths with river feet
the spirit flow of you,
return my bedrock dance to you,
my coming home.