Article Index

 

Metroconda

  

                           Cross-blade whirring head

                     of giant worm, a toothed wheel

               throwing back spoil

 

                                   Phyllis, Ada—

                                        twins

                              working

                      from Royal Oak portal

 

                                           find gnawed bison bones

                                  in the old Westbourne

 

                                                 fast water

                                             between

                                        ice eras

 

                                 grassland and forest

 

                     then on through tangled rod and gut—

               sewers, power lines, foundations

 

      even the eye of the needle, between Northern Line

and escalator tunnel

 

                                        find beneath the smashed Astoria

                              glass sauce bottle stoppers

                      marmalade jars

 

               both bores skirting Denmark Street

 

to the Plague Pit (No Man’s Land), 13 skeletons

       out of 50,000 laid in three years

                  under Charterhouse Square

 

                              pressure-sensored to veer correct

                                      push off last ring

 

                                               for the next advance

 

                                      in slow-budged clay

 

                              poison to plough

                         but mouldworthy, waterproof

 

              a blue-green thread

 

                                              quiet

                                     under madness

                          

                                                 bides the roll

                                           of new traffic