Old Oak Common

by Richard Vince

It was right there: the OC
That I knew, hiding behind a tall fence,
Concealed by darkness.

West London is still to me
A patchwork of places I know
Only from maps and diagrams
That somehow never seem to align.

Was that really the place;
81A of legend? It seemed
So distant from Paddington;
Too prosaic, too inelegant to be
The erstwhile palace of Kings.

But before I could really know
Where we were, it was time to
Navigate Harlesden, weaving around 18s
Before the streetlamps found
Cemetery and canal.

Speeding through the darkness, it was
Easy to miss everything; to see
Nothing but the seemingly
Endless road and all the signs
I had to read while I ignored
Where we actually were.

No matter how quickly we moved,
The journey always took forever,
Leaving no energy for our destination.

And somehow, no matter how many
Hours we spent on the road,
Where we were going only seemed
To get further away.


Posted on 03/01/2018
Copyright © 2021 Richard Vince

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 03/06/18 at 08:03 PM

I enjoyed this ride very much, especially that 5th stanza. Thanks for the trip.

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