Observations

Explosions of colour
In the monochromacity
Of the modern art room
At the Tate Britain
I sit and stare
As Titian hair atop
A riot of pink and green
Flounces past a
Barbara Hepworth
Pausing only to consider
Her own reflection
In a Modigliani
The shallow curves
Of a polished surface
Echo the movement
Of our livelier exhibits

Aspire, respire, perspire

Searching for beauty
In the crumbling pavements
The chickweed shoots
Bringing colour to each crack

Fishing for rainbows
In gutters pooled with oil
The water slick and dirty
As an inner-city fast-track

Squinting in sunlight
Huddled in a cheap coat
Thin layers for protection
Against the chill of springtime

Doze in back of buses
To dream up something better
Than another year of hardship
And a terminal decline

A graceful corner

The wind that wafts the cypress trees
That sway as dancers, to and fro
Within this place of make-believe
To tickle fancies, fast and slow

Brings little joy to residents
Nor tourists struck by wanderlust
Who hurry onward, business-bent
And grit their teeth against the dust

These quiet passages bear marks
That whisper other sides to life
Some ooze what passes after dark
The noisome remnants of our strife

And yet my mind is pausing here
A pleasant hour to pass. I wait
Enclosed by those with much to fear
Without this sanctuary gate