Tuesday, June 04, 2002

In A Perfect World
by Andrew Motion

I was walking the Thames path from
to Westminster, just because I was free
to do so, just for the pleasure of light
filling my head, just for the breeze like a
hand tap-tap-tap-tapping the small of my back,
just for the slow and steady breath of dust

fanning on flints, on cobbles, on squared-
slab-stones - dust which was marking the
time it takes for a thing to be born, to die,
then to be born again. The puzzled brow
of Parliament filling the distance, ducking
and diving as long parades of tree-clouds
or skinny-ribbed office blocks worked their
in between. The mouth of the Wandle
its sick tongue out and went. The smoke-
scarred walls
of a disused warehouse offered on close
inspection a locked-away world of rust
and sand flecks and slate all hoarding the
That's right: I was walking the Thames
Path east
as though I was water myself - each twist
and turn bringing me out on the level,
leading me hither and thither through
into the hush of my clarified head,
into the chamber where one voice
its mind could fathom what liberty means,

and catch the echo of others which ring
round the rim of the world. Catch and
The buttery sun kept casting its light
on everything equally. The soft breeze
did as it always did, and ushered me on.

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