Carpe Diem in Suburban London

When I wake and the sun is shining
My spirits leap.
Turning,  I watch your chest gently rising and falling
And I am glad, so glad that you will be here
To share this precious day. 


The dawn has broken and the birds flit from bush to tree
Finding a perch high up from which
To announce their presence and welcome
The fact that they are alive. 
“My territory,” they announce, “My family; my food.”
I cannot blame them,
Where not to fight for the right to survive
Means certain death. 
I watched last year how the new blue-tit parents
Failed to provide 
And all nine chicks lost their lives. 


But I am human and English and comfortable 
And on Saturday mornings the whole world is mine 
For an hour or maybe more. 
Quietly I slip from the bed and into a gown,
Creeping downstairs to boil the kettle
And look out on the garden,
Which has grown while I was not looking. 
Sitting at the table next to the garden door,
I luxuriate in the early gentle sunlight
And the bird song and the peace
And the fact that there is not yet traffic. 
A woody scent emanates from the earth
As the dew evaporates with the growing warmth. 
I hear a plop and a frog returns to the
Tiny kidney-shaped pond next to the pear tree. 
And I think of England – as did Shelley- except I am here.


I have another 45 minutes, surely. 
As the sun rises and the bird song diminishes
On my little patch of paradise
I still think of England. 
I think of my early morning England. 
But the noise of traffic increases as does the dust in the air
And it becomes city dry 
Taking on that acrid brightness that is city.
My vision freezes and becomes another England. 
The heat is increasing but I pull my gown closer
And shiver at the prospect,
My tea now cool in the mug. 
One neighbour has decided to spray insecticide
Early, while it is cool – and another to trim the edges. 
At the back, the children have woken
They wail in an argument over the iPad. 
The cacophony of what is England now 
Breaks on my consciousness. 
England – fair England –
Eaten up by diesel fumes and thoughtlessness. 


I hear you stir.
I am so glad you will be here with me,
For a while longer.
The one constant in a changing and polluting world
That I still want to hold dear. 


I will take you up a morning cuppa. 

Photo and poem copyright Englepip©

I apologise if you have read this before under a different name. I have made revisions and the title has changed as has the photo.