Felix Dennis

Felix Dennis, Poet, Publisher and Tree Planter

In A Soho Garden

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  

1 Comment

  1. Dear Felix,

    Loved the poem. I think you’ll find your flat is older than you think, though. It was built around 1720 and refronted around 1830 in stucco. These houses were in themselves rebuilds of original houses built between 1688-1693 by Richard Tyler, a bricklayer.

    William Lowndes, who bought the lease of this land from Tyler, recalled in later life the site of what was to become Kingly Street in 1667 (when he was 15) as a hedged footpath through meadows leading from Piccadilly to Marylebone. Your garden must be just about all that’s left of these meadows!

    Don’t worry, I’m not a stalker, just someone with an interest in the history of Soho. Oh and by the way, you’ve run out of milk!

    Kind regards,

    Simon O’Connor

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