Wednesday 2 August 2017

The Wednesday Poem #24 - Ode to Burnt Oak! (Guest Poem from Diamond Geezer)

Ode to Burnt Oak

Clusters of cosy cottages in brick, with arched porches in pairs.
Others timber-framed, but all built to last, on green thoroughfares,
A planning masterstroke,
In Burnt Oak.

Streets of homely low-rise, with character, and three bins outside.
A lady in a floral pinny emerges with watering can and pride,
Gives her baskets a soak,
In Burnt Oak.

Down Watling Avenue, several shops brim with cheap glitzy bling.
Sparkly vases and huge silver lampshades are clearly 'the thing'.
It's hardly bespoke,
In Burnt Oak.

Bejam and Budgens are long gone, now global fare substitutes,
Indian veg, Afghan seafood, Romanian meats and African fruits,
Okra and artichoke,
In Burnt Oak.

The grimmest of passages leads down steps and alley to the Saturday Market.
A rat nips out, across the space where if you had a car, you'd park it,
Then vanishes at a stroke,
In Burnt Oak.

At Abbots Road Allotments St George's flags wilt, while sunflowers soar.
An old man waters his cabbages alongside runner beans galore,
Gives his onions a poke,
In Burnt Oak.

Himalayan balsam clogs the brook on the green, but mind your shoe.
The hand-painted sign planted alongside reads '...Mind the doggy do-do',
To warn the townsfolk,
Of Burnt Oak.

Watling Park is CCTV-enabled and central, with copious green space,
But kids all cluster round the equipment - their imagination's not ace.
One's having a smoke,
In Burnt Oak.

Empty foreign lager cans float in the culvert, the rosebeds look depleted.
Grandma's brought a kite, but the breeze is light so lift-off is defeated
At a stroke,
In Burnt Oak.

A headscarfed beggar kneels outside Tesco, pleading and glum.
A small child whirls round a stuffed toy on a string, ignored by Mum,
Best not provoke,
In Burnt Oak.

No pubs were ever built on the estate. If alcohol was their bag
All the rowdier types bundled into The Bald Faced Stag,
Now boarded and broke,
In Burnt Oak.

Schools out, so scooter boy has crop circles shaved into his hair.
His mum climbs into a pipe under the main street and hides there,
Presumably for a joke,
In Burnt Oak.

Sirens blaring, a fire engine forces a learner on manoeuvres to stop.
Striding across the green, clutching plastic coffee from a corner shop,
Comes some bloke,
From Burnt Oak.

Nets twitch where great gran lived for thirty years or more,
That's her wonky fence, her red roof, and surely the original door,
Where she slept and woke,
In Burnt Oak.

Neighbouring Colindale is increasingly covered with matchboxy flats,
But lacks the character and allure of spacious pre-war habitats.
It does not evoke
Burnt Oak.
This Poem was originally published by fellow Guardian Top London Blogger Diamond Geezer, Who Dave Hill described as follows :-
 "Not many writers on London, bloggers or otherwise, combine deep knowledge with a witty style and a knowing eye for small but telling details. Diamond Geezer is just such a writer. His output covers everything from bus services to buried rivers, museums to John Betjeman's Metroland. He is prolific, professional in the least dull sense of the work, and generally just terrific. He's enviably clever with the technology too."
 Many thanks for permission to use here. Guest Poems are always welcome. 

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