City garden

This is a really intriguing prompt (hop over to dverse to join in), especially as the words I chose quench.forest.rivers took me to my first job as a student at Seven Dials. Thanks for suggesting this, Sarah. I shall write another poem using the coordinates for where I live now.

No more green in this garden
the forest long gone
but the rivers still flow
of motleyed crowds then as now
and when I walked those seven streets

and though these days
I walk a different road
beneath a different sky
no sea no ocean weight of time
can quench the fire of bright memories.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

30 thoughts on “City garden”

  1. Well, that is a coincidence!

    I really like the movement of ideas here. It’s watery all the way through – green, rivers, sea, ocean – and then suddenly in the last line we are in the realm of fire. It’s delicate and wistful.

  2. I love this journey to the past, and how places change, but still remain as they were in our memories. And what a coincidence!

    (And it’s funny that I chose different words and a totally different topic, but my poem still has memories and time and water.)

    1. Thank you, and yes, it was a coincidence 🙂
      What is even funnier than us having the same subtext, is that your memories are at one removed. Same city as in my real memories, bu you’ve imagined yourself there!

  3. How sad to see those forests long gone but the rivers are still flowing. This is my favorite part:

    no sea no ocean weight of time
    can quench the fire of bright memories.

    1. I never got to see the market at Covent Garden, and most of the great iron arcades had already gone when I was a student, but I was there through its transformation to a rather hippy-trendy collective market place, until they were all evicted to make way for the upmarket boutiques. Sad.

      1. I shared a flat with a girl who made and sold jumpers on a market stand when anyone could get a cheap temporary licence. As soon as the boutiques were up and in business, they had all the market traders cleared away.

  4. Seven Dials is a magical kind of place, I agree, even with the tourists. I like how you’ve connected the river of people to the ocean of time and the fire of memory.

    1. Thanks Ingrid. Looking back, I never got to know London well, it’s too vast. But Covent Garden, Soho and down to the South Bank was the part I knew best though I lived out at Wimbledon to begin with then Highgate and ended up working down at Farringdon street.

  5. I was tempted by quench.forest.rivers, Jane, and if I’d known it was Covent Garden I would have chosen it – one of my favourite places, especially at Christmas. I used to take Ellen when she was little, and I got her a few lovely Christmas presents there. She loved the street musicians, acrobats and jugglers. I also like the connection of the river of people to the ocean of time and the fire of memory.

      1. Ellen used to work for Neal’s Yard and was really disappointed when she didn’t get the manager’s position at Covent Garden.

      2. I haven’t been for years and Ellen changed jobs to work for Pandora. She hasn’t worked since Lucas was born. I don’t think she’ll go back to retail.

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