Kings Cross Whispers

Dark sounds evoked by traffic incubi,
Announce this saunterer who walks on by.
And the breath of his city will soothe him,
When he finds for himself a public space,
Or a familiar entrance; seeking companionship
In Kings Cross shops and in arcades.
He walks, forestalling double loneliness.
For he is not lonely in the city world
when he walks through it.
He is lonely when he measures himself against it.
There are no family or friends to claim him,
And there is no expectant God awaiting him.
When he saunters, his time is spared
of natural business,
of an ever growing pulsating urban flesh,
When thousands of its wasted seconds
Scream for some syncopated air:
The breath of earth,
Infiltrates his labouring thoughts,
Of his need to belong,
Of his fighting legacy,
For he was once a truant, and a soldier.
The street’s participants
Whisper at his passing.
There is too much competition on the ground,
That’s what his voices say,
His companions in elocution.
When they speak, this is when he is never alone.
Ian Hunter sure knew that!
Voices which describe the same haggling dream,
In which he’s scrambling over battlements
Spread along tops of streetscape walls
With Buddha faces jutting from them,
Their tongues poking out just far enough,
ready to catch him,
when his substance has changed,
When he has rediscovered his selfhood.

Francis Bede