Sunrise Over London

Charles Macfarlane

Too early on a numb, midwinter's morning,
I over-slept, and gulped my breakfast,
And nearly missed the bus again;
Jolting upper deck among the smokers,
Still half asleep, my bleary eyes
Surveyed unseeing cold, December rain
That drenched the queues in windswept streets,
And smeared the roads in endless sheets.

And, sickened by the dulling, acrid smoke
I dozed awhile, to waken panicked
That I might've missed my stop;
I wiped the misted glass to gaze outside,
And, fears relieved, I viewed the day
That hung above unopened shops
Uneasy in its sombre morn
With pallid hues of iron grey dawn.

But, as we toiled and juddered past the park
The sun was rising, reincarnate,
Blood-orange through the bones of trees;
For thirty seconds, maybe rather less,
It warmed my heart, baptised my face,
And somehow set my mind at ease;
Then terraces eclipsed the view,
And winter's grasp returned anew.

Yet through those cheerless days, and many since,
Its awesome beauty deep within me stayed,
And often set my soul at rest;
And though attaining now a callous age
I like to think I shan't forget
How bleak December days were blessed
By orange fire in filigrees ...
The rising sun behind some trees.

(Begun) 1970, (completed) mid-1980s

Creative Commons Licence Copyright of this work is held by Charles Macfarlane, who licenses it under a Creative Commons Licence (Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales)