London is a wonderful place, where roads are backwards, people have funny accents, money is a unit of weight, and nirvana hits you in a snow-covered park at dawn. These things happen when you’re living in the Neo-Roman birthplace of both Shakespeare and Cromwell; Monarchy and Parliament; Industry and Aestheticism. Not that these are all unique to England, per se: I only mean to say that the juxtaposition is what seems to create the harmony that’s everywhere here. It’s really been a great place to be, and it’s not like pictures or words can adequately describe the experience of it (try as I might). Especially not those movies where American girls visit London and mess around with those guards with bearskin hats and fully automatic rifles in order to make them crack a smile or something; I’ve seen those guards in person, and I don’t even want to look at them wrong, much less screw around with them or their hats. Those guys look like they killed a bear themselves in order to make their silly hats and wouldn’t hesitate to make a matching one from a silly tourist. They probably chew bullets instead of gum.
Anyway, a poem. The relevance to London is tangential. By tangential, I mean it’s not London-themed at all and I just wrote it just now while living in London.
It’s not the clever nor the wise
That ever find themselves a wit
And, drunk on having Jesters’ eyes,
Spy confidence and tackle it
With every bit of rhetoric
And splitting humor meant to knell
And call, or else to prod and pick
A person from their prouder shell,
Unknowing (or just unafraid)
Vindictiveness hangs on those walls
Like unpaid debts put on display:
Reminders for collectors’ calls–
You won’t find wit within the wise
‘Cause quiet fools have longer lives.
~Michael Danger Caskey