Category: United Kingdom

April 20th, 2005 by Leigh Banks

London is in a darkness. The smog has come down again. People huddled against the cold, collars up, mood as low as their bootstraps.

This isn’t Merry Old England. It’s a depressed area, a no-go zone. Even the attractions don’t hold much attraction any more.

Look at the London Eye, turning a nagging doubt.

At the turn of the century The Eye was better than a nod and a wink. It was seen as brash and exciting. A real jewel to the Pearly Kings and Queens. But four years on, it’s half empty – and those that are brave enough to pay their tenner to go on it don’t look like they’re having fun.

They just look vulnerable. Duck-shoots suspended in mid-air. Read more of this article »

Posted in Op-Ed, United Kingdom

June 21st, 2004 by Ian McLachlan

I’m ever so still as I look at the room:
one mattress, stained and folded on the floor;
great stretches of vacant, unpapered wall-space;
a radiator I want to fit my hand round;
and an ashtray piled with cigarette butts –
a hunted creature’s squalid nest,
yellow newspaper spread round the mattress
as if for protection.

‘Well, what do you think?’ he asks me.
‘I don’t like your shaggy hair,’ I almost say,
‘and you stink of failure.’

No baby crying, which surprises me,
and a view on the street I can see myself looking at,
coffee mug in hand, rain soft on the window. Read more of this article »

Posted in Poetry, United Kingdom