Silurian mudstone slurps and settles
a smattering of mollusced marine creatures
petrified below seams of red sands
yellowing old earth that would brick up city bounds
from the footings of this foetid furor
a landscape of upheaval spewed in volcanite fashion
heat of empires forged and tempered in the river
successive kingdoms broke its banks
whipping through waters, long ships with wood and oar
glint of metal and clash of sword
sailcloth snapping hard on the heels of war
in the wake, regal cathedrals ascended
block-and-tackle Magnificats with signs of need
tattooed upon palatial stanchions
pushing and pulsing each way came madcap populations
clogged with cacophony the arteries of alley
and city bells rang the changes in sombre symphony
ghastly visitations of fire and plague and bomb
beheaded even verticals of reverend stone
six metres down this history is hidden
boreholed now like fury for future foundations
convoys of crane come to bob and block the horizon
their busy silhouettes mesh a meccano of glacé nuclei
to steely eyed reaches in the sky
a London landscape that winks and blinks between sun-ups
and cremates the dark in a blaze of neon nightcaps
Kim at dVerse asks us to paint a landscape and flex our verbs in this week’s Poetics
21 thoughts on “Londonscape”
Wow! This is Londonscape in perfection!. A huge canvas this is and I had to run to google for a number of time. Love how you captured history specially in rhymes.
The rhymes came last to the canvas Sumana as am not comfortable with them usually so really appreciate your comment
Londonscape made me homesick,. Laura! I like the effective use of sibilance in:
‘Silurian mudstone slurps and settles
a smattering of mollusced marine creatures’.
There is so much force and movement in the verbs, which convey rapid growth,
development and violence. I especially love the lines:
‘heat of empires forged and tempered in the river’;
‘sailcloth snapping hard on the heels of war’;
‘clogged with cacophony the arteries of alley
and city bells rang the changes in sombre symphony’;.
‘a London landscape that winks and blinks between sun-ups
and cremates the dark in a blaze of neon nightcaps’
Stretched the action words! – perhaps a little too much brushwork but was carried away by your prompt
So much energy in these words, Laura, and such a build up to that wonderful last line.
Struggled towards the end so am happy to hear it was not an anticlimax
I liked the last two lines with the winking and blinking and the neon nightcaps. Nice start of this history with “Silurian mudstone”.
Thanks for rounding up start and finish Frank – I can now see a connection!
Oooo, my imagination is running wild now with historical scenes of people, structures, activities, and of course, creatures and seas, long before human habitation. You paint fascinating word pictures. I will have a new perspective of London now. Loved it, and I hope to visit again, someday.
Thank you for lovely words – Compacted the museum of London into these lines it seems Beth – next visit I recommend a visit!
I too really enjoyed the visuals and the almost-rhymes in this lush piece.
Good word “lush” for a London landscape 🙂
Wonderful poem! I especially like the last two lines – so very descriptive. London definitely flexed its buff muscles in this. The sibilance of: Silurian mudstone slurps and settles
a smattering of mollusced marine creatures,,,,great write.
many thanks – was not sure at first that I could make much of London as landscape – had something more pastoral in mind!
I like the thoughts of a non-pastoral landscape!
I had to take a breath at the end of reading this. It is a verb in itself. Brilliant piece, Laura. Love the ending.
great comment – thank you – often feels like a verb living here – so much doing and goings on 😉
Superb in story and historical reflection.
Many thanks Allison
Absolutely love the painting – would give a lot to be able to do something like that. The prose works perfectly with it.
Had a Ricoh camera which in text mode produced almost stencilled images to which I added some Smart Photo Editor effects 👩🎨
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