The fields from Islington to Marybone
To Primrose Hill and St John's Wood
Were builded over with pillars of gold
and there Jerusalem's pillars stood.

William Blake




Old Shakespearean actors lost
in evil footlights, shifting, glaring,
white probes into powerful ancient faces,
where the traffic jostles and smokes
along the riverside, very rare men
disconnected from everything, drift,
mumbling lines from some old tragic act,
some endlessly repeating scene of grief
where trusting souls meet subtle wrong,
invoke the devil through a wretched crack,
beards all speckled with the soup of paupers,
muttering psychotic truncated phrases,
a little prayer, some special name, a vow,
all thickly uttered with the dust and drink
and loss of memory along the river's brink.