A Ballad Here On Wapping Wharf

The sun had fallen b’yond its peak;
the clouds coursed through the blue that hid the black.
An end had come unto the week
‘n all th’way onto Monday th’weekend laughed.
Upon the breeze, life’s sounds did sail;
the people pottered past.
B’yond yonder tree, a baby wailed –
a pulled shirt in her grasp.
A-pecking at the paving slabs,
an urban dove searched ’bout for things to eat.

Palm pressed to palm – two women walked
across the neat-placed bricks that paved the ground.
The urban dove crossed over next,
now looking for another spot to scrounge.
Some baskets – Yellow! Orange! Green! –
were filled with fruit ‘n veg.
Wov’n wicker kept the produce clean.
A common gull, o’erhead,
flew off toward The Matthew’s mast
to light upon the crow’s nest for a screech.

Queuing up for coffee, some
faces yet covered up with rags on string,
Brist-Ohl-Yuns held their places,
waiting patiently. A waiter – pierced ‘n ringed –
looked o’er, with consternation,
at the lack of empty seats.
She offered for to take some
empty trays. Now off her feet,
she smokes upon the shaded steps.
A child, led by a dog, pretends to lead.

Pink, white, ‘n purple; ripped jeans;
suited; shirted; shorted; floribund; high-socked…
“Ship-shape ‘n Bristol fashion!” See
the varied costumes modelled ‘cross the docks!
Hear varied English; Somali;
hear Spanish spoken fast!
‘Midst Chinese, catch the Polish
tongue! Now Patois patters past…
A collage clothes the wharf in knit,
kaleidoscopic manner, look, ‘n speech!

The sun continued on aft’ noon,
sailing for to pass the Avon Gorge.
‘Tween float ‘n New Cut: passing through,
the city danced its song on Wapping Wharf.
Now wand’ring off, to write elsewhere,
I joined the collage dance.
That urban dove had found a fair,
young pigeon to romance.
And, as the Avon finds the sea,
the poem found its end in ellipses…

Image creditAccessAble

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