Sunday, 16 January 2011

Leicester Square Puddle Image

I see myself in Leicester Square
which is a kind of overcoat
loose and comfortable to wear,
with bars and diamonds
and tree motifs,
and the weave itself
made up of tiny laughter
and griefs.

Walking through mile-high drizzle
the people here
are dressed to dazzle:
there goes a giant eye,
here comes the Planet Mars.
Some are dressed
as teen-age gangs,
a few as cinemas.
A woman smiles at me,
her gown a shimmering clock
that strikes on the second.

The carousel has run amok;
you can’t see the old grey-beard
who thinks it’s Derby Day;
the clouds fly past him,
Hitchcock’s Birds are coming.

                                Now that
                                              is weird:
I know that girl
                             In the mini-dress –
I remember her corduroyness.

A ghost steps out
                                                of a Silver Ghost,
a crowd of masked lone rangers gathers
gasps. Someone whispers, “Diamond!” or
“diamonds…” Is it Legs
Or Neil or that man Bond?

I tighten my belt
                                as erically as I can
and amble on: it’s my coat that wanders
out of the lime-light
into the night, no cares
but The Care of Time.*

The Care of Time was Eric Ambler’s last novel.