I hate London in the rain
As if a grey world couldn’t get
Any greyer, here comes a sodden
Woollen blanket that pours
Itself over the city with its
Clean clear lines of the skyscrapers and
The shadows of its yawning fading slums.

The rain here is dirty
It does not refresh or revivify
Like some soothing holy balm.
No, indeed, it is a cloying poison
A lousy lazy acid laying its fingers
On my cheeks as I stomp across the
Pavements and try to defeat the
Sickly breeze that leaves greasy
Raindrops stuck to my face.

The rain in London makes me feel
That the sewers might rise from their slumbers
And grab me by my collar
Whilst down in the puddles the detritus
Sobs, all that litter, forgotten fodder,
The homeless seeking shelter down amongst
The crisp packets and the dead autumn leaves
There is everything grubby about this city
In what floats down through its drains.

But then, when the sun rises from
Its vanishing, and the dawn turns rich
And crisp, and the windows shine with the
Incorrigible blueness of a beautiful winter day
The rain will be forgotten and
Even the queuing cars will sparkle
And my breath will catch at the air
As I stand and stare down at the Thames
The mighty river, winding itself through a picture,
Washing away the dirty stains of my
Memories of this glorious city in the rain.


Rose Staveley-Wadham