Mile 7 – 8

Greenwich Church Street by the Gypsy Moth pub to Sayes Court, Evelyn Street

South of the River

Words by Gordon Kerr, read by Joe Shire, Film by Sean Kerr, edited by Olly Robertson, sound edited by Matthieu Lefort


Leof the Jute, c. 550

I loiter by the bend in the river’s crook,

Near where the Ravensbourne softens its flow,

Mud blurring its surface,

Oil bruising the sky’s reflection.

And I think of him stumbling ashore

At morning’s first blood,

Eyes wide, veins full,

Skin stripped from his soul.

‘Ho! Stay those oars that have widowed waves

And struck this barren strand,’ he might have called,

‘This place will welcome our ancestors

But here time will swallow our tooth-white bones

And make meaningless our lives.’


By evening’s chill

The water’s quiet glass breathed mist

And, as the riverbirds’ echoes faded,

Above the dank sail-shrouded shelter

Smoke began to cloud the mizzling air,

Flames adding grammar to the darkness

While stones, blushing in the heat

Beneath the whistling timbers,

Cracked like the skulls of enemies.


Huddled skin to skin at the water’s edge,

Souls singing for this new land,

They embraced their redemption, wept

And burned their boats.


Ayisha, 2013


A complexity of bells

Exhausts the sky of birds

Above the broken teeth

Of Lewisham’s slow yawn.

This is not her weather –

Outside, domed by a gabardine sky,

The rain is brittle, the wind sculpting

Angled figures in the polished streets.


As the morning drifts to its dreary conclusion,

Her mind grows wings;

She recalls the moonlight

Sprinkling like broken pearls

To the shadowed stones of an ancient city’s courtyards,

Its passages echoing with the whispers of dusty robes

And the sighs of bored calligraphers,

Discussing lost hours

While the evening fell in layers.


But, as the Sunday morning bells fade,

She sheathes his body yet again,

Eyes closed, the blood stopped in her veins.

An hour later, she stoops by the window

To pick up her discarded clothing

And, glancing out, she sighs,

Soul acquiescent, heart flown homeward

By the bird of lost spring

No longer.

1 Comment

  1. john Simmons
    25th March 2013

    Lovely little film. And well run, Gordon

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