by Peter Riley

Peter Riley

This centre we take with us
everywhere we go like a ring on a finger
so that where we are will always be
in some sense London.

The churches in this city
gather light in the morning
as a mountain does. The bird
flies to its nest.

We’ll get out of here one day,
these squalid bed-sitting-rooms and
selling lampshades or what-
ever we do which certainly isn’t
what we came here to do
but all we can think of
is a pastoral alternative – slopes and
curlews and one day we’ll
get there one day, holding
to our breasts the capital
of thought and what it was
we loved here.

2018, Collected Poems

Last updated July 20, 2021