The End of the Line

london d

The city of London was a paradise once:
Green Park, Forest Hill, Wood Lane, Bushey…
Stamford Brook, Island Gardens, Mudchute, Greenwich…
Where animals lived in harmony with nature:
Heron Quays, Peckham Rye, Goldhawk Road, Cockfosters…
Warren Street, Frognall, Barkingside, Hendon…
And humans lacked the tools for mass destruction.

Their numbers thrived; with habitat and food for all:
Finsbury Park, Finchley Road, Buckhurst Hill, Hatch End…
Ravenscourt Park, Blackhorse Road, Lambeth North, Hornchurch…
And homo “sapiens sapiens” looked on in wonder and awe:
Honor Oak Park, Clapham Common, Becontree, Temple…
Canary Wharf, Isle of Dogs, White City, Angel…
Paying tribute to fellow beings with place names.

But fascination soon turned to exploitation:
Shepherd’s Bush, Chalk Farm, Snaresbrook, Stockwell…
Ealing Common, Canning Town, East Ham, West Ham…
And man was bent on killing his animal brother:
Hackney Downs, Kilburn Park, Dagenham East, Battersea…
Pudding Mill Lane, Hyde Park Corner, Bow Road, Rotherhithe…
And making money from his flesh and blood.

Capitalism killed off all Compassion:
Mansion House, Highgate, Ruislip Manor, Richmond…
Golders Green, Swiss Cottage, Crystal Palace, Bank….
He abused ‘till there was no tomorrow:
Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus, Bond Street, Harrow…
Elephant and Castle, Burnt Oak, Colliers Wood, Fairlop.
While the heavens despaired over man’s Free Will.

London was soon emptied of her creatures:
Park Royal, Queensway, Kingsway, Gunnersbury…
Redbridge, Hanger Lane, Bounds Green, Arsenal…
As Church and State betrayed earth and creature, for transcendentalism:
Blackfriars, St Paul’s, Abbey Road, New Cross…
Parson’s Green, Canons Park, Belsize Park, All Saints…
And concrete, material ‘values,’ were preached – and flourished.

Until all that remained was a distant green memory:
Woodside Park, Elm Park, Moor Park, Greenford…
Heathrow, Wood Green, Oakwood, Southfields….
In a deathly, nether world, gone underground:
Imperial Wharf, Hammersmith, Fulham, Wealdstone…
Chancery Lane, Knightsbridge, Manor House, Morden.
Hurtling towards the End of The Line.

 

Heidi Stephenson © 2014
Illustration: Claire Palmer

 


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4 Responses to The End of the Line

  1. Nice work, great idea, love this.

  2. lara says:

    A beautiful work of art, cleverly written, a masterpiece I would say. Well done Heidi Stepenson and also to Claire Palmer for the beautiful illustration.

  3. Claire says:

    Thanks for such a lovely comment, Lara!

  4. Natasha Langridge says:

    Beautiful!

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