Sunday, 29 July 2018

Changes and constants

The flowerpots brimming just the same,
the late light in the long evenings,
the urban landscapes, river Thames;
but change still touches many things.
Fish and chips in newspaper cones -
the cod’s still there, but the paper’s gone.

Less rain, more sun, and fans in rooms
that knew only heating systems.
Fed up commuters fret and fume
in the trains, getting out of them.
The subways swelter, few buskers play
at the station on a sizzling day.

The river’s eternal, riversides
get modified by men, and piers,
millennium eyes, cable rides,
smart cards to swipe at smart barriers.
Three glasses forty years before;
three glasses at mine now once more.

Ive been to UK several times. Each time something on the wishlist gets left out, and equally, something unexpected gets lobbed in. In the last forty odd years that I’ve been visiting, there’ve been some changes...some small, some hugely noticeable...

But, in all the tours and detours, it’s almost always been a group of three. In childhood and teenhood it was my parents and me, and now it’s my own teen and his parents...that too, will change by next year if all goes well.


  1. Hari OM
    ...destined for University in UK? Love your picture of how this land is simply not prepared for such changes in climate! As one used to such climes I find it amusing to watch all the Brits reactions. It's the effect on transport which is most comical - or not, if you are a traveller! YAM xx

  2. Things change as they inevitably do, but I love that there is familiarity to ground you.

  3. Beautifully written in poetic form, Nila. It would take a lifetime to explore all of dear old London. I've only been there three times and it always surprises. I was intrigued by the narrowboats last visit.

    Denise x

  4. Hi Nila - love the narrativeness of the poem ... England has its own place in many people's hearts. We cope ... 1976 was heatwave for 4 months ... I sweltered in London, worked three jobs - money to be made!, and went to Wimbledon, sat in the sun and poured sweat out - probably more than the players ... I'm sure I wasn't alone ...

    I hope you'll look at my latest post about Palewell Press ... just seeing your 'Asylum' soundcloud recording reminded me to ask you to check in ... narrative poetry too ...

    Cheers - so much to miss, so many opportunities to see here ... Hilary

  5. I like that there are still three glasses. You capture change and familiarity with your words. I like Hilary's comments above too. Good stuff all around. Cheers!

  6. I've heard about fish and chips wrapped in newspaper all my life, but here in America, we either never did that at all, or the practice had been discontinued by the time I was a child. And we Americans actually use the term "fish and chips," but if you want just the "chips" you have to order "French fries," or just "fries." To us, "chips" usually refers to potato chips, what the British call "potato crisps." It gets confusing, dunnit?

  7. The heat in the northern climes this year is rather frightening. Here the southern state of Georgia, it has been about average temps, sometimes cooler than it has been up north. We've been getting lots of rain too. I liked the circle of your poem.

  8. Your words brought alive the picture of London that I visited years ago. The tube, buskers, river Thames, fish and chips......wonderful memories.
    I have recently started my poetry blog @
    It would be encouraging to have your views commented for my debut posts.

  9. It is difficult when a heat wave hits an area not equipped to handle it since they have always been rare. What is the fish and chips served in now? I hoped to have some in newspaper whenever I finally make it to the UK. Hope all goes well for your teen!

    Emily In Ecuador (I moved to WordPress.)

    1. Thanks Emily, and congrats on your move!

      This time I had all dine in so served up on regular plates, but last visit I had thermocol containers some places and greaseproof paper at others, if I recall rightly..Newsprint ink is apparently unsafe to be in contact with food that's why the change has happened.