Catch as Catch Can
We’re out here now, playing games on Primrose Hill,
giddy gambolling lambs in sunshine, chasing thrills,
racing breathless with each other to pluck daffodils
as Wordsworth’s clouds gather in old Jack and Jill.
Ray croons sons asleep, old Waterloo underground
lullabies of soft swept rivers by bright banks bound.
They sickle skywards, coasting, clean city and town,
murmur half a sixpence is better than half a crown.
Penny Lane’s pretty nurse sews cinnabar poppies
by Threadneedle Street, thumbs silk-mask glossy
pages, cover to cover, scanning copy for fine print
dashing away with a smoothing iron to press lint.
Peter Pan flies above Kensington begging for claps
from Neverland’s bright young things; doffs cap,
still believes in his Tinkerbell, she’ll yawn, stretch,
smile at Autumn chills, wink, then flicker and fetch
her book of spells. And we won’t get fooled again,
still it's time to play, Nana, sip sweet champagne,
it was the lark not the nightingale, but which tune
resonates with her setting suns or rising moons?
Hide or seek, ladders or snakes, maybe sardines,
pressed up tight together with no room to breathe,
hearts pounding in black’s silent muffled shadows
quietly tense, musn’t be caught; it grows, it grows.
Pepper strikes up when the end is getting very near;
we’re out here still, all singing, all dancing, years
of in and out the dusty bluebells, all rings of roses
with a shout, puffed out, it please someone choose
catch as catch can. Silence weeps for she does know
when such a lovely audience will surely have to go.