The Noise of the City

Sitting quietly, tools down, window
open, hot-day-sun, blind at
half-mast, curtain conceals
nicely, and the quiet strains of
Radio 3

then the city noise starts
like a 'plane landing in the
quadrangle, all engine and
rough rumpus:  grass cutting,
small pieces of green mown
to within an inch
of their lives; then a strimmer
attacking ragged edges - pause -

the hollow banging of the bins
down concrete steps, emptied,
re-positioned, oh blessed
silence as the man regroups -
time for some birds -

then it starts again.  The city
din is never done.  The
seagulls' endless wail tell
of water not far, the big
river to the sea past docks and
poverty, dereliction where
time and industry moved on.

I have been there on the steamer
going to the Lochs
and back again.

But meantime the rude bumping
bins, unceremonious, and the
seagulls' protest ... piano is
gentle and patient - and I
today must go to vote,
	but not yet.

If only they would stop
and I could have my peace.

	Ah, that is it.
	How quiet the 'gulls.

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