The beauty of London in text-message sized snippets. The views from journeys on buses and trains. Time between work and home spent contemplating the environment.





















 











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Harriet Duncan
1997-2004
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Phone Message
Prose Poems

 



BEHOLD THE CRISS CROSSING SKY. TRAILS
TO UNKNOWN DESTINATIONS SLOWLY FADING
INTO THE VAPOUR.



SUMMER DAY DRIVING. WINDOWS DOWN.
PASSING MARKET ROAD. TREES, WILDERNESS
PARK AND GARDENS, ASTROTURF. BREATHE
IN THE SMELL OF ORANGES. UNEXPECTED
SMELL OF A JUICING FACTORY. FLORIDA.



KINGS CROSS TRAINS AND GAS WORKS, DESOLATE
GOLFING RANGE LITTERED WITH LOST BALLS,
DRUNKS AND WHORES AND MORE.



CANARY WHARF SHINING COPPER FACED IN THE
LAST OF THE EVENING SUN AFTER A SHOWER.
FLAT GREY SKY BEHIND AND THE ORANGE SKY
AT NIGHT IN FRONT.



BRILLIANT & HUGE ORANGE ORB HANGS
BLINDINGLY IN THE EIGHT O'CLOCK SKY
FRAMED BY CRANES AND THE DOME OF ST PAULS.



WATCHING FROM THE WINDOW AT WORK.
LOOKING ACROSS THE DEPTFORD SKYLINE.
SEE A HUGE SHIP PASSING SLOWLY THROUGH
THE BUILDINGS. STRANGE BUT TRUE.



SITTING ON THE TRAIN INTO CANNON STREET
STATION CATCH A GLIMPSE OF THE MONUMENT
TO THE FIRE OF LONDON HIGH UP WITH THE
TALLEST BUILDINGS SHINING BRIGHT GOLD IN
THE AFTERNOON SUNSHINE THAT PASSES DOWN
IN SHAFTS THROUGH THE GREY CLOUDS.



TIREDNESS OF THE BODY AND SOUL. STRUGGLING
AGAINST THE BODY OF PEOPLE RUSHING DURING
RUSH HOUR FROM WORK TO HOME TO WORK TO HOME.
SUITS SUITS SUITS. COURT SHOES. AND ME.



HARD GREY CITY. CITY PEOPLE - TIMELESSLY
CONSERVATIVE. THE LONDON THAT IS OLD &
GRAND CONTAINING GREY ORNATE BUILDINGS.



VACANT LOT: TRIGGERS THE MEMORY OF
SEVENTIES COVENT GARDEN - A WARREN OF
SUNKEN GARDENS FULL OF HIPPIES HANGING
OUT, PLAYING MUSIC, SMOKING GANJA.
HORDINGS WITH STRATEGIC HOLES PLACED TO
SEE THE WORK GOING ON INSIDE. HIDDEN SPACE
IN A CROWDED CITY.



A LOSS. PASSING A VACANT LOT FULL OF BRICKS
THAT TWO WEEKS AGO WAS A TERRACE OF
HOUSES. WHAT DID THEY LOOK LIKE BEFORE?
HOW QUICKLY THE FAMILIAR PASSES INTO
OBSCURITY - WITHOUT ACTUAL VISUAL REFERENCE
THERE IS NO MEMORY OF WHAT WAS THERE.



TOP DECK OF A BUS LURCHING THROUGH THE
CITY. SWING ROUND A CORNER ONTO LUDGATE
CIRCUS - OVERHEAD STREET PASSING AN
UNDERWAY, OLD BRIDGE. A SUDDEN OPENING UP
OF SPACE IN A TIGHT KNOT OF STREETS.



AN ORANGE REMBRANDT SKY OVER THE
POST-WAR HORROR OF NEW CROSS
CONCRETE-JUNGLE-TOWERBLOCK HELL.



STAND IN THE MORNING LIGHT ON LONDON
BRIDGE RAILWAY STATION LOOKING THROUGH A
GAP BETWEEN BUILDINGS AT A FRACTION OF
TOWER BRIDGE SHINING GOLD IN THE FIRST
SUNSHINE OF THE DAY.



DARK FALLS, NIGHT SKY OVER THE THAMES.
LIGHTS SHIMMER ON WATER. THE NFT FLORESCENT
LIGHT SCULPTURE FLICKS THROUGH ITS COLOUR
CHANGES INCESSENTLY. FURTHER UP ON THE
OTHER SIDE OF THE WATER THE LLOYDS BUILDING
IS GLOWING BLUE.



THE TANGLED TWISTED METAL & GREY CONCRETE
RUBBLE OF A DEMOLISHED BUILDING - A
DESECRATED HOLE IN THE MIDDLE OF LONDON.



DUSK SKY ON THE NIGHT OF THE APOCALYPSE -
PINKY GOLD SHIMMERING THROUGH GREY RAIN.
SKYLINE OF LONDON PICKED OUT AGAINST THE
CLOUDS. MESMERISINGLY BEAUTIFUL...



Harriet Duncan 1995 - 2003