by Paul Casey
I was all bog and bits of islands,
my bird-heavy mane of reed
a river of lyrical russet,
a Celtic hunter slowing his currach
to the heartbeat of a wayward doe.
I grew wooden bridges and jetties,
ramparts and towers, cupped huts
and dirt roads. Smoke rose nightly
from the duels of swords and harps.
I sank heavier with merchants and markets,
cobblestones, cannons, kept alehouses then.
Top hats and summer umbrellas tilted
to soldiers and carriages. Oil street-
lamps lit stocks and paupers.
Men and metal stitched me whole.
Now I sleep with buses and pipes,
pylons and beggars reflected thrice in glass.
Mobile phones and mini-skirts flirt my name
while coffee-shop buskers point tourists to pavement art.
What will I not endure?