Friday, 9 January 2009

PoetryPivotal 3

Midnight Steps

Something is moving through a tunnel
a tunnel of silence and of brick,
and as it moves further and further away
the sense of the sound does not diminish.

It is born of a mechanism with many parts,
moves on the edge of what can't be heard;
perhaps it's below me or a few streets South
where the railway goes under the road.

The night is not entirely dark or silent:
the sudden creak of a footstep
in an upstairs flat. Three a.m: a cat sits
and looks out, as if seeing the shape

of something that's there, I can't see.
There's a bridge near Jeffreys Street,
where the nuclear waste in steel wagons
rattles on by, at least three a week

and a side alley leading West, down
seventy feet underneath the line. I sleep
with three storeys above me and three beneath;
the walls are thick, and the River, almost black,

flows under us through hidden arches
from Parliament Hill to Anglers Lane,
a sealed light that can't be seen
clusters on the surface, unexplained.

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