Tuesday, 5 June 2018


Croquet Lawn

Grandpa, they're all foreigners here,
In the transit bus at Moscow airport.
They have never taken afternoon tea
With thin white bread, diagonally cut, the crusts off
Always at four thirty, usually in the pleasantry
The evening of supper and bridge spread out, simple and clear

At Heathrow too, all foreigners,
Passport control, taxi drivers with their signs.
They have never played croquet on your carefully mown lawn
Leant on the mallet by the straight chalk lines
To watch the roll of your cleanly hit ball;
A certain walk after your turn.

And here in suburban Surrey, many are foreigners,
Nameless neighbours in the lottery ticket queue.
They have never crossed over Smugglers Lane to visit Lady Penn
Or walked down the drive to see George and Jue
Or been greeted by so many at the Benhall Flower Show, all your friends.
In an Istanbul tram I still see you Grandpa, and the Sternfield home you gave to others.

Accident In America

You can have an accident in America
Proclaimed the preacher in Ankara.
Nobody listened and they had everything to lose.
Later Hassan with Harry’s pizza let his mobile take the news
That they had buried his mother in Tabriz.
‘Your order’ and immigrant smile to please.
Harry shut the door and Hassan drove away.
He never had an accident in America, he just decided to stay

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