LONDON SPIRIT

If London is a dump,
London is a beautiful dump.

A congregation of a hundred different nationalities,
A symphony of hundreds of languages
Embracing hundreds of cultures.
Built and held by the bridges,
By the tubes and buses,
By the discipline and the duties.

London is a dump –
It’s a beautiful dump

Covered in bricks and mortar,
Ancient history and modern marvels:
The cheese grater and the Gherkin,
St Paul’s and the Tower of London
Time begins here.
Time freezes you here.

London is a dump –
It’s a beautiful dump

Parks and squares,
Squares and parks
For everyone needs a quiet time.
Pubs as old as the 14th century,
Ridiculed with nonsensical chatter and liquid daze.
Dotted with tiny shops and mega malls:
From Peruvian potatoes to Ethiopian coffee,
From flat-breads to fish and chips,
From Little Venice to Hare Krishna,
Even Whole Foods is here and Starbucks R.

Thousands of cars drive by,
Not a single noise they make –
Except the sirens, the loud sirens.
Millions of people walk by,
Keeping their distance
And an occasional apology

Statues covered in bird shit:
221B Baker Street or 10 Downing street.
The free museums or the paid churches
Art galleries or Banksy’s graffiti –
A walk away,  everything is a walk away.

Southwark, Northwark:
Bridges and Sand castles.
The ding dong and the carnival,
The dirty old river.
A menacing maze of shabby markets,
Again flanked by dingy pubs.
Wait, even Shakespeare and Orwell once drank here.

Hipsters and posh citizenry,
Organic Coffees and afternoon teas.
A packet of crisps or sea salt peanuts,
A meal deal or Jamie Oliver’s.
Dressed in rugged boots or dusty trainers,
The spirit of London is in them all.
London is them, London is you.
London is eternal.
London is a dump,
But it’s the most beautiful dump.

WORDS: ANAND JHAVERI

Like Anand’s poetry? Check out his ode to Falmouth.

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