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Saturday, August 19, 2006

The mean streets
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It is night.
Moth wings flutter.
A bat swoops.
Owls prowl.

In the mean streets
Of Godalming, Surrey,
A single British Bobby
In full body armour,
Riot gear
And gas mask,
Is searching
Among the Magnolia trees
For Muslim sympathisers.

Inside Number 14,
Honeysuckle Close,
Rosemary Hambledon
Notes the movement outside
And draws her curtains
Against the encroaching dark.

She has survived
One more day;
One more day
Without the horror
Of having a large,
Copy of the
Holy Qur'an
Thrown through
Her parlour window.

She picks up
Her National Trust mug
Of Horlicks,
Sips down
Three tranquillisers,
And for what may be
The very last time,
Reaches for the wireless
And turns on
The BBC shipping forecast.


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