I remember the people I left behind forty-six years ago
Companions in publishing, lovers of art, Londoners high and low
Baking in sweat, unable to breathe, sleepless beneath the moon –
I climbed in my car, waving farewell. “I’m off! I’ll see you soon!”
I don’t remember the journey I made but suddenly I was there
A Blenheim baked in drought and sand waiting for me to care
The sun fought out of a ruthless sky, my Ford burned on Oxford Street
But I had driven to be with you within a finger’s meet.
I stood with Sam beside the Lake holding my child’s hand
I watched his face light up with awe. He said, “My word! That’s grand!
“If I’d been born here I would be as great as Churchill too!”
“What’s stopping you?” I asked. “Now come. It’s time. It’s tea for two.”
I remember the people I left behind. So many of them have passed
I watch my Blenheim’s gardens grow, their landscapes freshly grassed.
Next month we face the dredger’s jaws to cleanse the Lake of sin –
The silt will heave, the lorries groan. They’ll carry, bin by bin
The darkest sludge the world can find. Mountains of dungeon’s dirt
Enough to fill a football pitch or bury Putin’s shirt
I’ll drink to that! I’ll watch and wait
Standing beside my Woodstock Gate
My journey’s just begun apace.
Stories to tell
So watch this space.