Here, in a Soho garden, Secure from prying eyes, I lounge in sultan splendour And watch a spider rise On threads of silken terror, Scuttling with its prize Beneath a fat geranium leaf To parlours full of flies. Here, in a Soho garden, Where blackbirds sing like larks, Four stories from the alleys Where foxes shoal like sharks, I water my geraniums In floodlit, silver arcs: Downstairs, the foxes dance on chairs, While bouncers strip the marks.
I have lived in the same Soho flat in London for thirty years now on the top floor of a court built in the late eighteenth century. My ‘rooftop garden’, by the way, is about the size of a kingsize bed, but I do have a resident blackbird! And could somebody tell me where all the bees come from in spring and summer? ‘Foxes’ is old cockney slang (rhymes with doxies) for ladies of the night who entice ‘marks’ (customers) into dodgy nightclubs. I never have seen a real fox (Vulpes vulpes) in Soho itself, but other residents claim they have.
Poem Published in the following books: A Glass Half Full