Paul Street, E23

High on the wall, a leather cap. The kind
John Lennon liked to wear, its gloss of black
catching the bare bulb glare. This room is red,
blood red. The ceiling, white. The naked floor
stretches rough pine between cracked skirting boards.
A mobile phone, kingfisher blue, proclaims
its presence with a triad, soh mi doh,
repeated twice before I cross the room
to comfort it, holding its sleek cool form,
this little speaking thing, close to an ear
that once, in 1967, heard
descending chords, the start of Strawberry Fields,
played on a mellotron, (although it might
have been a martinet for all I knew).
The moment passed, but everything had changed.
Something had come of age. Now, looking back
at Maharishis, kaftans, beads and bells,
I will not rush to join with Mark Lamaar
and others of his kind who point and sneer,
but, as the day grows old, and from the street
below there comes the sound of voices, young
men on the town, and girls in twos and threes,
I reach the leather cap down from the wall
and wander out, as if it mattered, now.

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