Rabindra Mishra

London in winter

Is a naked prostitute.

And in summer

A voluptuous virgin.

It is a strange city.

Amble through the streets of London

Buildings look like old academics

Planet Hollywood, the Aquarium

The Hippodrome

All hiding their secrets

Beneath their grand facades

That is London,

If you are curious about

That shapely woman

Beware as her enticing smile

Can be an expensive trap

In the alleyways of Soho.

And nearby there stands

A Gracious Mediaeval aristocracy

Gracefully grinning at democracy

The will of the people, so they say

And over there

Manufactured from used condoms,

Or a dead horse in the Tate

They call them Art

And yet still they pay homage

To Rembrandt and his ilk

London has its surfaces

And beneath them its secrets

The ridiculous and the sublime

Flow together in the Thames

And the London Eye looks on

With a wry smile

Rabindra Mishra | 30 January 2005, London