DESCRIPTION FROM A RED BUS

 


for Mike Lesser

 

a gaggle of police at Western Circus adopting an aggressive, goose-like, stance

of parted legs and forward-thrusted loins

but their body mass indexes are comically dwarfed from the top deck vantage point

 

recycling banks, cranes, New and Used Buildings Materials warehouses

in this industrial zone, north-west, rolling

and then a Thames-wide stretch of railway lines and wires, shining, humming

 

billboards reflect the fashionable corporate fascisms, the bullying omnipresence

of SKY, Gordon Ramsay, talktalk etc.

competing for mass attention, on rented plinths, levelling the rest of the conscious universe

 

suburban shopfronts, though, are not so glamorous or opulent,

just about owned by their smallholders, seedy and/or stylish,

ethnic cafés and hairdressers, imitation Kennedy chicken joints, the Afro-Caribbean PAK’S

 

the sudden colours of the fruit-and-veg piled in plastic bowls—yellows, greens, reds—

outside Turkish or Pakistani or Iranian cornershops

flash like flags or rainbows in the drabness—glimpses of Rastafarian bohemias

 

two monolithic chimneys—smokeless—are dominant on the Church Road horizon

of council houses, disused sites and playing fields

as robed women wheel their prams meditatively, some species of dark bird, homing

 

African men, Somalis or Ethiopians, in assembly by a halal store

smoke, talk and smile, clenching bunches of khat, mostly elders with tight curls greying,

semi-Westernised, wearing suit jackets over light-coloured, flowing, knee-length shirts

 

this zone with HOMEBASE, scrapyards, and assorted construction companies,

car showrooms, garages for M.O.T. and repairs, is dull but nominally exotic:

a minicab firm called ‘Cheetah’, a café called ‘Tabriz’, a ‘Taj Mahal’

 

the large-scale swathe of graffiti on a red-bricked rooftop of Harlesden

is a meaningless tag, white and bubbly, just something to do for an hour

for a kid with nothing to do, a narcissistic scrawl with no message for the ages

 

another river of railtrack by the beautifully named Walm Lane

as the bus judders downhill, following a concrete mixer

along Walm Lane into Chichele Road… clumsily… bumpily… clownishly… as in a silent

movie

 

where the younger bloods are sprucely turned out, and pavanine with it,

displaying a higher class of casualwear-cum-sportswear—too good to fight in—

grinning from earplug to earplug as they strut, unworriedly

 

and who cannot savour the pax of these ramshackle suburbs

with all their dilapidated ghettoes, malls, gas-towers, chapels

and simpleton signs: ‘Great Deals Available’, ‘Jesus Loves You’, ‘STOP’ etc?

 

plenty of cars, carparks and carwashes—where cattle markets once stood—

close to The Tavern by Dersingham Road

with its wooden emblem of horses and carriages, mirroring the past, more recent than

distant

 

the bus rides the tarmac road and glides on Golders Green sun-rays

softening the tarmac road to liquorice, as a senior citizen crosses

—to elsewhere, evidently—with stick and orange recycling bag, swinging

anarchically in wind

 

Niall McDevitt

 

 

 


This entry was posted on in homepage, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to DESCRIPTION FROM A RED BUS

  1. dave tomlin says:

    ‘Grinning from earplug to earplug’

    Tres bien.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *