gershon hepner

Rookie - 10 Points (5 3 38 / leipzig)

Middlesex - Poem by gershon hepner

I remember gentle Brent,
where detergents used to float
on a river that was meant
Wembley-wards to reach. No boat
has ever seen that river and
when I got married by its bank
I took my loved one by the hand
away from it, because it stank.

Leaving Highfield Gardens, famous
for the houses Jews keep tidy,
I felt like an ignoramus,
newly-wed with bona fide,
wondering where this river rises,
as I did the morning after
I abandoned compromises,
and we both burst into laughter.

Inspired by “Middlesex” by John Betjeman

Gaily into Ruislip Gardens
Runs the red electric train,
With a thousand Ta's and Pardon's
Daintily alights Elaine;
Hurries down the concrete station
With a frown of concentration,
Out into the outskirt's edges
Where a few surviving hedges
Keep alive our lost Elysium - rural Middlesex again.

Well cut Windsmoor flapping lightly,
Jacqmar scarf of mauve and green
Hiding hair which, Friday nightly,
Delicately drowns in Dreen;
Fair Elaine the bobby-soxer,
Fresh-complexioned with Innoxa,
Gains the garden - father's hobby -
Hangs her Windsmoor in the lobby,
Settles down to sandwich supper and the television screen.

Gentle Brent, I used to know you
Wandering Wembley-wards at will,
Now what change your waters show you
In the meadowlands you fill!
Recollect the elm-trees misty
And the footpaths climbing twisty
Under cedar-shaded palings,
Low laburnum-leaned-on railings
Out of Northolt on and upward to the heights of Harrow hill.

Parish of enormous hayfields
Perivale stood all alone,
And from Greenford scent of mayfields
Most enticingly was blown
Over market gardens tidy,
Taverns for the bona fide,
Cockney singers, cockney shooters,
Murray Poshes, Lupin Pooters,
Long in Kensal Green and Highgate silent under soot and stone.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 1, 2005

Poem Edited: Monday, May 17, 2010


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