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Thames Memory

I knew the river's smell
long before concern
and government control
cleaned the filth from
it's brown mud of water
choked by centuries misuse
and human defecation,
when on nights where
chilled air met warm water
thick fog rose mingling
with the smoke of countless
chimmneys spewing remnants
of burning coal,
and stench of sulphur,
sewage,
and decaying fish
mixed with stink of rotting mud
and seaweed
caught the throat
in grip of lung-heaved nausea.

And I know it's aroma now,
Still strong with old-age and senility
but fresh with cleanliness,
rain-soaked earth redolence,
all smoke replaced by
smokeless heat,
sewage treated,
pea-soup fogs all gone,
and sometimes, standing on
the Queen's Bridge
above the Dartford Tunnel
I can feel the freshening
of the eastern wind
upon my face,
and smell the ocean
rising up the weary banks.

Style / type: 
Free verse
Editing stage: 

Comments

Happy New Year!
I am glad that you enjoyed this. I have no idea what inspired it, I was just thinking about working in London many (many) years ago, and out this came.

Respectfully, Jim

"Laws and Rules don't kill freedom: narrow-minded intolerance does" - Race-9togo

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Race_9togo

author comment

LOL...Woolwich Ferry in the summer moonlight IS romantic! No glitch in your mind at all, lol.
Glad that you enjoyed it. Yes, isn't it good to see the Old Lady clean again, isn't it?

Respectfully, Jim

"Laws and Rules don't kill freedom: narrow-minded intolerance does" - Race-9togo

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Race_9togo

author comment

this to be more along the line of commentary, but still very thoughtful and provoking. It always amazes me, that we will invent technology to repair and restore the things that we should have saved from destruction, by inventing something to prevent it in the first place. I think I make sense here? Anyways, Nice write!

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LOL I dunno, to be honest. Iwas just dregding up old memories and linking them with old tales, then comparing the present reality to that past.
Glad that you liked it.

Respectfully, Jim

"Laws and Rules don't kill freedom: narrow-minded intolerance does" - Race-9togo

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Race_9togo

author comment

A very evocative poem, could almost smell the Thames. The only thing I would change is line five ' it's brown mud of water,' how about ' it's muddied water,' or ' murky water,' or ' it's opaque water.? or not its up to you.

Lou

Stand tall, be proud to be who you are, give the world the finger!!!!

Thanks for reading. You know I tried all of your suggestions, but I kept it as is because that's how it used to look and smell, as if the river itself had turned solid, in places!
Thanks for the ideas, though! Much appreciated!
:)

Respectfully, Jim

"Laws and Rules don't kill freedom: narrow-minded intolerance does" - Race-9togo

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Race_9togo

author comment

These parts really stand out:

And I know it's aroma now,
Still strong with old-age and senility
but fresh with cleanliness,
rain-soaked earth aroma,

and:

I can feel the freshening
of the eastern wind
upon my face,
and smell the ocean
rising up the weary banks.

I enjoyed this piece very much. Very descriptive and imagery evoking memories.

always, Cat

When you fling poo, some of the stink sticks to you!

"The Book of Styx" can be ordered and purchased on line at:
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:)

Your enjoyments delights me.

Respectfully, Jim

"Laws and Rules don't kill freedom: narrow-minded intolerance does" - Race-9togo

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Race_9togo

author comment
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