Magazine article The Spectator

The Lions at Taronga

Magazine article The Spectator

The Lions at Taronga

Article excerpt

The leaves of Tower Bridge are rigged to open

For any taxi I might chance to catch.

They say that when the ravens leave the Tower

It means they'll use my rain-stained study skylight

As a toilet. I can see Canary Wharf,

A Russian rocket packed around with boosters

Lit up to launch at dawn from Baikonur.

The Blade of Light is cleared for butterflies

To crash-land. When that lens-shaped office block

Is finished it will bend a ray from space

To bum the Belfast like a sitting duck.

I've known the NatWest Tower since it was knee-high

To the Barbican, another high-tech know-how

HQ that used to look like the last word.

From my place I can see last words in vistas

As far downriver as the spreading spikes

Of the Dome, some sad bitch of a sea urchin

Losing its battle with a stray Dutch cap

While hot-house pleasure boats leak foreign voices

Like tourist minibuses nose to tail

In the corridors of Buckingham Palace. …

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