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Daily Archives: April 21, 2015



It’s all right-angles in the city over Newton’s lock.
Square foot, Square Mile. The joiner, mason, architect
have passed through, each one dangling a plumbline.
Build it once, then rake it back to ash and build again.

Down here the river measures twice, cuts once.
Bring spirit levels, bring your guillotines and gates,
you’ll not cut water
                                  as it halves this place.
Meet it on its own terms, soft and true enough.

Between the builds, a greening, an uncornering.
The rivers make a curve of every angle; gentling a lattice,
licking sharpness from an edge. They gather leaves
and shake out clouds in tunnel mouths.

Welcome them. They change, and wait, and change.
Uncoil a path, a monument to those who go at walking pace
between the cathedrals of speed. A path means hope;
it links new places through an arc of sapling sycamores.

Invite the artist; the unjoiner, cutting out a halved house
on each bank. For Newton, keeper of the unlocked Lea,
you split the cottage like an apple. Water pulses through,
measuring the old familiar drop from hill to estuary.

Bent finger in a London of straight lines, the river
beckons to the city, points out the value of a curve
and floats on. Easy in its channels, unbiddable;
idle under mirrored bridges, waiting for the walls to fall.

By Jo Bell

Spirit level’ is Jo Bell’s specially commissioned response to Newton’s Cottage, at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. As part of a series of events this weekend celebrating the cottage, Jo will read this poem alongside more poems that about our waterways. 




We May Never Understand

The beauties of nature are there to be seen
But have you realised that this is evidence
of where God has been
When you walk in the woods and marvel at the trees
Can you hear god speaking to you in the breeze
If you look and listen it will help you to understand
That creation was the work of God’s almighty hand
Sometimes this can be difficult to comprehend
When as the result of natural disasters
many lives come to an end
If god is the creator why is this destruction taking place?
Is god sending messages to a sinful human race?
If this is something that you honestly believe
The concept of god as a god of love is difficult to conceive
Can we believe that this is part of god’s master plan?
And that he uses natural disasters in order to punish man
Some people might think that this is so
But this is something that we might never know
We can ask the question time and time again
Hoping to discover why nature inflicts so much pain
Seeking to discover if this is something that god has planned
Yet, knowing that we never, never understand

Hands of justice. – Promote Yourself


When there is a crime ‘ what do we say ‘ who has done this ‘ and in what way.
Such crimes must be punished ‘ at what length ‘ years in prison ‘ an a long stretch.
No more freedom ‘ you will have ‘ all locked up ‘ and that’s just sad.
You must be punished ‘ by me and you ‘ at what length ‘ its up to you.
Anger and rage ‘ just to be sure’ justice will be done ‘ an there’s more.
No more crimes ‘ you will tell ‘ your going to jail ‘ and locked up in a cell.
Hands of justice ‘ has been done’ now your locked up ‘ and no fun.

Patricia Bourne WordPress 2014.

Testing Times – Promote Yourself

In The Dark..?-promote yourself


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