May, and the green smell after rain. He’s smoking,
brooding, watching the weary folk of Southwark.
He’s scanning the book of flowers
with his mind’s eye. What a lovely thing
a rose is, he thinks, but they will not bloom
for weeks. Now there’s the pink of thrift,
silver leaves of snow-in-summer. Flowers
are the chemistry of light. Wisteria
crawls on the pergola, and his thoughts crawl
with the tangled threads of this stillness.
Typists’ fingers and the shoes of the poor
flicker past, and the women keep
their unreadable faces turned away.
Motives are like the changing code
of the sundial. There is an immortal spark
in the tired eyes of sad Southwark,
but these are not clients, and they won’t sit still
or submit to his scrutiny. Holmes? Holmes!
Are you all right? and Watson is by his side,
Watson who sees more than most realise,
himself included. Sun drifts down
on the Red Cross Garden, May sunlight
after rain. The pathways twist with delight.
There is a cab waiting, lives they must meet
in the city streets. They still have time
before he greets the man in the shadows
and there’s a little less light in London.
~ Clarissa Aykroyd
Clarissa Aykroyd grew up in Victoria, Canada and now lives in London, England. Her work has appeared in Shot Glass Journal, And Other Poems and Ink Sweat & Tears, and in anthologies. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee. You can read her blog about poetry and poets at http://thestoneandthestar.blogspot.co.uk/
The poet wishes to thank the Poetry School, London Parks & Gardens Trust and Bankside Open Spaces Trust for their support.