London Light

Its daylight lies constrained in stripes
structured by streets, roads on stilts,
muted by flanking walls. Gridded, bent,
bounced back from the skim of a filthy river
in gritty stars, a thousand off-hand smirks.
But what is it about that fumey London light,
pooling round summer pubs, coalescing
like the heaves of warm laughter between old mates

and the honest lure of the false, built-up shine
put in by humankind; throbbing lamp-post yellow,
stadium-white mercury vapour arcing bright,
city’s sexy heart where pink and green wink a neon
come-on and night buses shed their loyal glow.
Black cabs rattle their dry throats every night;
roll their private parlours above black rain.
This city’s light outlasts the day; holds us close.

Louise J Jones