Peckham Rye Lane

by A.K. Blakemore

The sun, today –
it leaks desperation,
Gunmetal droplets of perspiration



I take the bus – through Peckham.


Knickers lie flaccid

in Primark.

Like salted jellyfish – tentacle pink,

grandmother mauve


briny in £2 racks of rainbow.


Peckham Rye lane is tight

as damp and crammed as a coconut shell


afro combs and mobile phones in the white heat –

punctuated cornrows and seed beads,

cornflower scrunchies, liquorice weaves.


The delicate babies in KFC,

children, plaid-dressed children,

wailing, clutching drumsticks like weapons.



the pavement is a gruesome meat,

each person is a sturdy hairbrush bristle on its surface.


Angels gaze from the treetops

like William Blake


and radiate