DOWN SCRUBS LANE

WORMWOOD

Wormwood isn’t here

The sign said, rather waspishly.

It wasn’t the Wormwood I remembered;

Scrubs Lane on a wet Sunday

The outback in West London

No buses, no cars, no people

Just limp grass, acres of the stuff

And, oh yes, the finest redbrick edifice

Victoria’s henchmen could construct.

No rotting bodies in here, my friend.

Not Newgate, not by a long shot

Though debts must still be paid

And some may still get laid

Lord Alfred Douglas lay here,

As did Charles Bronson,

Keith Richards, Leslie Grantham.

And  George Blake

Scurrying along in his traitor’s gait

Till the day he pole-vaulted to freedom

More or less

Before waving goodbye

To his English life,

His liberty and his wife

And all those Wormwood scrubbers

 

I KNEW KENSAL GREEN BEFORE ITS RISE

St__John_the_Evangelist,_Kensal_Green_-_geograph_org_uk_-_998127william-makepeace-thackeray
I KNEW KENSAL GREEN BEFORE ITS RISE
I knew Kensal Rise, or is that Kensal Green
When upward mobile and genteel
Were hardly to be seen
When Harlesden was such a pain
And we all avoided poor Scrubs Lane.

The Harrow Road was long and lonely
Fit for trucks and tractors only
Most estate agents did a swerve
And said that sellers had a nerve
To say it was just off Queens Park
Where gentrified had made its mark

The cemetery stood gaunt nearby
With its patchwork bricks
And walls so high
Though Ladbroke Grove might still be seen
By standing on a mausoleum

Queen Victoria and Mark Twain
To Kensal Rise they both came
And a library they did endow
That’s the talk of London now
Today there’s cafes, bars, boutiques
And Chamberlayne’s the hippest street
Where Lily Allen and Sophie Dahl
Rub shoulders with the great and small
And Ian Wright and Zadie Smith
Have made the area quite a hit.
I wonder if they all will stay
Like Harold Pinter to decay
With William Makepeace Thackeray

WORMWOOD

WORMWOOD

Wormwood isn’t here

The sign said, rather waspishly.

It wasn’t the Wormwood I remembered;

Scrubs Lane on a wet Sunday

The outback in West London

No buses, no cars, no people

Just limp grass, acres of the stuff

And, oh yes, the finest redbrick edifice

Victoria’s henchmen could construct.

No rotting bodies in here, my friend.

Not Newgate, not by a long shot

Though debts must still be paid

And some may still get laid

 

Lord Alfred Douglas lay here,

As did Charles Bronson,

Keith Richards, Leslie Grantham

And  George Blake

Scurrying along in his traitor’s gait

Till the day he pole-vaulted to freedom

More or less

Before waving goodbye

To his English life,

 His liberty and his wife

And all those Wormwood scrubbers.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tom-OBrien/e/B0034OIGOQ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1388083522&sr=1-2-ent