Hounslow Fast & Hounslow Slow

hounslow
Early 20th Century views of Hounslow High Street

 

Hounslow Fast & Hounslow Slow

All the stages came through Hounslow,
All the coaches heading West:
Driving on to Staines and Windsor,
Bristol, Plymouth, and the rest.
All the coaches came through Hounslow,
From each Western vale and down,
Stretching legs and changing horses
For the final push to town.

They all knew Hounslow then:
The drovers, grooms and highwaymen.
But nothing stays the same –
And so one day the railway came.

Only three miles north of Hounslow,
Yet those three miles meant a lot:
Steaming on to Slough and Reading,
Faster than a horse can trot.
All the West once came through Hounslow,
Then the bypass passed you by –
And little mark is left to show
From when this High Street lived so high.

There’s nobody to blame,
For nothing ever stays the same –
The world still comes your way,
But now they do not leave, and so they stay.

 

 

Unter den Linden

unter den linden

 

Unter den Linden

I was walking
Underneath the lindens,
Walking with my true love,
With Summer on the breeze.
We were walking
Walking in Berlin, then,
Walking two-by-two, love,
Underneath the trees.

I was walking
Underneath the lindens,
Walking with my true love,
Past the other fraus.
We were walking
In our finest linens
Walking two-by-two, love,
Underneath the boughs.

I was talking
Underneath the lindens,
Talking with my true love
About my life and times.
We were talking
Of how back in Swindon,
When walking two-by-two, love,
We’d be walking under limes.

 

 

Where the Hounds Lie Low

dogs

 

Where the Hounds Lie Low

All dogs come to Hounslow:
The Saxon mound of all the hounds,
From far and near, they gather here
Where no-one herds them into pounds.

You’ll find all breeds in Hounslow:
From native bulldogs, collies, setters,
Goldies, skyes, of ev’ry size,
A mix of strays and game go-getters

Exotics, too, in Hounslow:
Poodles, spitz and borzoi breeds.
Dalmatians, pomeranians –
They’re free of collars, free of leads.

A thousand woofs in Hounslow,
And coats of ev’ry length and hue:
From lab to husky, pale or dusky –
Snouts and builds are varied, too.

They all feel safe in Hounslow:
The afghans, dingos and pariahs –
They fear no more the dogs of war,
And tails are safe from dockers’ pliers.

All dogs are free in Hounslow,
Where jack russell and king charles meet,
With great danes cheek by jowl with pekes,
And mutts and corgis share the street.

A better life in Hounslow,
Where they’re at peace to chase their sticks.
All dogs, they say, shall have their day
To raise the pups and learn new tricks.

All dogs come to Hounslow,
The mound where hounds find all they need –
And from each guest we’ll gain their best
To raise a stronger, mongrel breed.

Green Park Gallery

green park
photo by Urban75

 

Green Park Gallery

South side of Piccadilly, up against the railings
Paintings by the vanload are displayed –
Portraits and streetscapes and abstracts are prevailing,
Lots of dogs and Monet fogs and sailing-ships a-sailing.
Will we find the next Van Gogh just waiting its unveiling ?
Or likely find there’s nothing makes the grade ?
It doesn’t bother me, for it’s still a fine distraction
Where even daubs and dabbling hands can bring out satisfaction –
But then, I’ve no intention of enacting a transaction,
Despite the fact their purpose here is trade.
Oh, sell them to the tourists and to trendies with some empty walls,
I’m just browsing through the upright and reticulated stalls –
Varied works in ev’ry sense, from almost-tempted down to scrawls,
But either way, I never leave dismayed.
Not pampered by the critics or what some celeb endorses,
But subject to the fickle winds of naked market forces –
Which might explain the presence of so many racing horses,
With prices set by what the punters paid.
South side of Piccadilly, up against the railings,
Unfailingly is London’s best parade.

 

 

Brownfield

wasteland

 

Brownfield

Groundsel grounds, where nettles nest
Between the tyres and scattered glass,
Where breeze-blown wrappers come to rest
Amid the hedgehog-hiding grass.

Round the corner from this waste
Are streets of white suburban palings –
But in here the bees make haste,
And foxes slink through rusty railings.

Snakes and lizards keep discreet
Amongst the clinker, bricks and stone.
But crickets, toads and parakeets
Still let their whereabouts be known.

Broken concrete catches rain,
Which lures the newts from nearby parks.
Mosquitos fill each pit and drain
With twitching ink-black question marks.

The bats all chase the moths all night,
The wrens all chase the flies all day,
The moles chase worms, but out of sight,
But slugs won’t run – they’re here to stay !

Ferrets stalking, hamsters feeding,
Both escapees from their pens.
Cats are courting, bugs are breeding,
Badgers building urban dens.

Spindly stalks with leaves too large –
Some saplings from the gardens near.
So will they get to swamp and barge,
And grow an urban forest here ?

But suddenly, this patch is gone,
As diggers turn it into town.
The residents will soon move on,
And find another field of brown.

 

 

Sorry, Elizabeth

queen elizabeth tower london
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

 

Sorry, Elizabeth

“Big Ben is only the bell,”
You smugly tell,
But actu’lly, we already know.
Except you’re wrong:
It’s the bit that goes bong,
And ev’rything else, above and below.
Big Ben is the bell,
And the clock as well,
And even the whole bloody tower !
Ask any you meet
On Parli’ment Street
Whenever he’s chiming the hour.

 

 

Last Train to Nowhere

landscape view of railway station during sunrise
Photo by Stefan Gabriel Naghi on Pexels.com

Last Train to Nowhere

Another day passes me by on rails –
I somehow missed my station,
Or maybe it’s not even on this line.
I should be gathering traveller’s tales,
But ev’ry new location
Is just another wait on Platform 9.
From the milk trains to the midnight mails
Towards some destination,
But the fast express has left me behind
Somewhere between the gaps to mind.
The signal’s red, the soot is black;
My future lies on up the track.