(after Yoshio Markino, 1911)
Colours of women, a grey-veiled pink, a bloom
Fading to yellow, stippled, dust-hung, flecked
Soot startling white lace in summer gloom.
Colours of trees, pavements sticky with leaves
Trodden to blackened bronze, a patina
Attached to every twig. The heart grieves,
Colours the blood with fungus, smudges all
Spires, bridges, waters, with its spores,
Catches each raindrop as the bruised clouds fall.
Colours — the names of them, the languages
Seeping between — slip into sepia,
Then steely white, as words freeze images.
Colours of women, trees, blood, stone on stone
Piled high, dismantled, crowded as a dream
Night after night in London, and alone.